Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 15.5 months old~

We had a more laid back week since we took the week off of preschool.  I sent most of my time planning Pac’s 3rd grade but managed to squeeze in some Tot School time with my little bug too!

Tot TraysLadybug’s 3 Tot Trays this week were…

  • Pom Poms and a can with an opening cut in the top {to stuff the pom poms into}
  • Empty parmesan cheese container and colored zip ties
  • An egg carton, small pitcher, and beads {she barely touched this, other than to put the beads into something else. I think the egg carton freaked her out a bit!}

Her favorite activity was by far the can and the pom poms.  She played with these SO much!

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She also really liked putting the skinny zip ties { I got the colored ones at the Dollar Tree} into the container. {you can see she also added pom poms to the container!!!}

Watching her get things out was the best part of this activity!!!

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 Here’s a shot of her playing with her trays and toys while I was trying to get some 3rd grade planning done!  She was in “take it all out” mode ;-).

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Learning ToysIn addition to Ladybug’s 3 trays right now, I am keeping some toys on the floor in the schoolroom for her to play with.  I am also changing these out weekly.  She LOVES our Gears toy and played with it everyday!!!IMG_4012-2

Our bristle blocks sit on a shelf {they are always visible}, she can now reach them and get them down herself!  She does this almost everyday now!IMG_4162

We play in our living room a lot too ;-).  She loves digging in her walker toy {it hold blocks} and finding the ones that make noise!  Here shaking one that she found!!IMG_4039-2

This is one of our toy corners, where K and L’s toy baskets are {the ones filled with random little toys}.  She loves to sit in this corner and take everything out.IMG_4150

Our felt food is still in rotation because it is still being enjoyed by all!  I showed L-bug how to stir the food…IMG_4155

I often bring out one toy into the living room for all of us to play with.  One day last week it was our Zoobs.  The 3 kids all played near each other, but mostly each doing their own thing.  L-bug’s thing is to put the Zoobs into something.  Her blender was near, so it got filled up!

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I also went and got her little can and showed her how to stick the Zoobs in the hole…IMG_4258

The living room is also where we watch DVDs.  These two were watching a little Praise Baby together ;-).IMG_4062-2

I was working in Daddy’s office one day and she was with me.  I grabbed a puzzle and put it on the bench for her, she loved this!!!!!IMG_4166

 

Life School

She’s learning to dance ;-) with Daddy…IMG_4001

 

A little spin on the dolly {in the new schoolroom that is under major renovation right now}IMG_4171

 

 

Moms Favorite

Seriously, this girls LOVES her books.IMG_4052

 

This Weeks Tools

Homeschool Lunch Made EASY

I hate stopping in the middle of the school day to make lunch.  Even more than that, I hate to clean up after lunch.  When I stumbled upon EasyLunchboxes, I was HOOKED even before they arrived.

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We were recently sent a set of Easy Lunchboxes along with a cooler to review. I am about to admit how truly dorky I am. I was probably more excited for these to arrive in the mail than I have been for any other item we have had sent to us for a review!!!!! Yup, I LOVE containers and I knew if these ended up being half as great in person as they appeared online, I was in for a plastic container state of bliss.

They arrived and I tore into the box to find my plastic slice of heaven. They ARE better in person! I honestly had 2 main concerns that I knew I would have to figure out when they actually arrived…

  1. How easy the lids came off, and if they sealed enough for my liking without being too tight or too loose. They are PERFECT, seriously. Somehow they stay on, but yet the kids can open them alone.
  2. The quality of the plastic itself. I have used both Tupperware and also Ziploc…and I don’t loveeither. Tupperware tends to be a bit too tough for my liking, and the lids are often too tight and secure for me. Ziploc {and other cheaper brands} are too flimsy and don’t cut it for me either. Easy Lunchboxes are the perfect middle ground, Honestly I was shocked, they are much sturdier than Ziploc-ish containers, but the lids are still able to be removed easily.

Within hours of their arrival, they were neatly stacked in my fridge like this…IMG_3418…all ready for the next day. I also decided to color coordinate the boys’ juice cups {they only get 1 per day} and pre-fill those too. The container under the juice cups is the morning snack, and to the left are the boys’ water bottles.

Lunch the next day was a dream {and each day since then}. I pulled out the boxes and handed them out. It was wonderful.IMG_3514

After lunch, what wasn’t eaten, got left in the Easy Lunchbox and put right back into the fridge to be eaten before afternoon snack!!!! This was a feature I hadn’t thought of! It makes lunch easily re-storable for those little sweethearts who don’t eat all of their healthy food only to beg for snacks later. We don’t offer our children alternative meals, and if they don’t eat what is served, they are either done for the day {if it is dinner} or if it can be saved, it will be saved for the next time they are hungry. Easy Lunchboxes make this plan work beautifully!!!!

The boxes that were emptied went into the sink, and that was the ONLY mess I had to worry about! I didn’t have to clean up the entire kitchen after preparing lunch in the middle of our homeschooling day. Nor did I need to stop early to begin preparing lunch!!!! Doing the prep work at night saved me tons of stress!!!

I LOVE these things!!!!!! I highly recommend them to all of you…both for home use and for traveling use. Whether you homeschool or pack your child’s lunch for “going” school…they are perfect!

Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Letter Xx

Raising Rock Stars Preschool Letter X

This is the main section of our preschool posts-focusing on what we do for our Raising Rock Stars Preschool Curriculum. I am not sharing photos of each part every week, just what I happen to catch! We do the entire unit even if I don’t show it here in the photos!

Our letter this week ~ Xx, our verse: EXcept you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

A view from the floor. I was sitting on the floor working with Krash and looked up and snapped a shot, for those of you who like a peek ;-). We added in BODY books this week to go with X is for X-ray. We also used books focused on Jesus and children.IMG_3311

Krash colors his verse…IMG_3299

He still loves cutting, and was in love with the box and fox cards…first time he really acknowledged rhyming words on his own!!!IMG_3301

He was blown away to find himself in the easy reader ;-)IMG_3424

A little cutting, gluing, and matching for the craft of the week…IMG_3793 He was oh-so-thrilled to have this shot taken ;-)IMG_3812

This week Pac helped him tape his verse together…

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He did really well this week reading and tracking along with the easy reader on the PowerPoint.

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The Power Point lessons are located in the Members Only section. You can see a video here showing a PowerPoint lesson. You can learn more about the Members Only section here. The entire printable unit {everything else you see pictured above} is available for FREE on the main RRSP page…

You can download the entire letter Xx unit here.

in the box {A few things that were in his preschool workboxes for the week, not all activities are pictured}

He did one drawing from his Kumon Drawing book this week. This is definitely not his favorite thing, so I don’t push him to do more than one a week for now ;-).IMG_3316

He did #1-7 of our Pom Pom Numbers. He wanted the colors to match {his idea} so we worked together to get them sorted and then figured out which color went on which card {they are self-correcting, as each # is a different color}IMG_3308

Xx’s on a Play Doh matIMG_3825

We did a few fun letter of the week activities. Here he is doing his very first color-by-number! I was amazed with how well he did and how much he enjoyed this!!!IMG_3470

Matching xylophone shapes…IMG_3562

He dot painted a xylophone… IMG_3314

We finally got back to our ABC Crafts and will now be matching the letters we have left with our RRSP units. Here he is making X is for Xray…IMG_3566

He matched clothespin colorsIMG_3467

Pounding the ABCsIMG_3474

He did these 3 Letter puzzles and after he finished them we flipped them over and worked on letter sounds together. He still doesn’t grasp the blending part, but he’ll get it soon, no rush!IMG_3568

 

star boxes This is where I share the 3 special open-ended toys that were in our Star Boxes for the week.

Our 3 STAR boxes for the week: Foam ABCs, Wedgits, Lacing Beads {which he literally did not touch all week long}. The letters were the favorite item of the week. He had the brilliant idea to connect them all to make a road for his cars…IMG_3321 We did this on more than one day…IMG_3535

Krash likes our Wedgits, but not nearly as much as Ladybug and Pac Man do ;-) IMG_3600

 

game time IMG_3320

Our game this week was Chutes n Ladders. I must be honest and say this is probably my LEAST favorite children’s game, ever. But, I was a good Mommy and we played every.single.day. I dislike this game because it can go on and on and on and on. 1 chute and you’re history. The boys, however, LOVE this silly game!

See more of our favorite preschool games here.

Life School This is where I share games, toys, and life experiences that occur outside of our planned preschool time.

Although K hasn’t begun to read on his own yet, he is VERY interested in learning to read. He has all of the readiness signs, and we’re just continuing to work with him. By “we” I mean Pac Man also! P loves to teach and thankfully K loves to be taught sometimes! Here Pac was teaching him in great detail using a book he loves.IMG_3781

Krash loves to explore Ladybug’s Tot Trays ;-p, brings back good memories for him I suppose! I try to challenge him a bit with her trays when he shows interest in them. Here I had him trying to drop the stick in while holding them higher . IMG_3373

$5 for a water hopscotch=two VERY happy boys. Krash loved learning to play hopscotch ;-P {it was from Target}IMG_3338

Anyone else watch Minute to Win It? We are in LOVE, Krash is attempting Noodling Around ;-)IMG_3532

Moms favIMG_3833 It was impossible to choose just one this week, so here’s a few more favorites…IMG_3894IMG_3958IMG_3776

 

tools

More Preschool Links…

Be sure to visit Preschool Corner to see all of the other amazing home-preschool moms!

Pac Man Loves ~ 3rd Grade!!!!!

Pac Man is entering 3rd grade next and we are finally officially out of Mom’s comfort zone.  I must admit I am a bit anxious about this.  I have taught 1st grade and below and know enough about 2nd grade that I knew I would be fine homeschooling the early elementary grades.  I secretly always knew that the year he entered 3rd grade would be a big transition for ME!

Of course he isn’t phased in the least, and is just thrilled to have a higher grade to report to friends and family members ;-).  We are continuing on with our cyber charter school, which still uses Calvert as their curriculum for 3rd gradeIMG_4110Getting the big ol’ Calvert box in the mail is a very big deal around here!  IMG_4114I got all sappy looking at this post, which seems like just yesterday {when his 1st grade box arrived}.

We start our year by getting the first 20 lessons completed before our official school year starts.  I like having 20 built in random free days throughout the year.  Our life is so random, we need this!  Our official start day is July 26, which means I am in planning mode!  Getting the box in the mail and browsing through it is WAY more fun than actually doing the work!

I was thrilled to see 2 changes in the Calvert Curriculum…2 things I didn’t like about 1st and 2nd grade; Social Studies and Spelling.  I noticed in the box that both are now from Scott Foresman, which is a publisher I recognize and remember liking back in my teaching days…I hope I like it still!!! I am busy going through it all right now and getting my first 20 lessons planned out.  I am praying this program works well for us and that I won’t need to supplement my own stuff as much as I did these past few years {I did that because I am super picky about certain things and Calvert was good, just not exactly what I wanted}.

Krash was just happy to have a new big box to play in {he’s showing off his new Batman tatoo}…IMG_4119

Raising Rock Stars ~ Samson

Samson

I must admit, I wasn’t all that excited to get to the story of Samson.  I don’t really like Samson, honestly-he gets on my nerves.  I really don’t like the images for children that only seem to focus on how strong he was.  The real truth is that he was a messed up man who could have had it all and chose a more selfish path.  His life was filled with many sins not suitable for teaching to very young children, so I knew it would be hard to teach the true lesson from this “familiar” story.  Thankfully I found some posts from Kristi, here and here…which helped me put words to my thoughts and concerns.  Her words helped me prepare my heart to teach this story to my boys during our family time.

Daddy had read the story straight from Judges all week, and now it was my turn to bring it to life in a meaningful way.  I had a board book that I think I bought from a dollar store somewhere ;-), so I used that to start off with.  Then I had the boys color a simple picture I made as I shared what the text on the coloring page meant.Samson Coloring

We talked about how Samson’s strength came only from God, and that he was actually a weak man who made lots of foolish decisions in his life.  God can use us even when we are weak…God is BIGGER than our mistakes!

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Resources used this week:

Visit the Raising Rock Stars Webpage to download your own notebook pages and to see links to previous Rock Stars posts!