Behind the Scenes ~ The New Homeschool Room

Behind the Scenes

I know many have wondered about our new school room and where it is, or where it came from. Today I hope to share a bit of the behind the scenes info about it and how this amazing blessing has come into our lives! The story will be as condensed as possible ;-).

When we moved to the inner city to be missionaries over 6 years ago, we moved into a row home on a major street in our neighborhood. At the time the property next door was up for sale, which we didn’t think much about. Within a few months God began to work and long story VERY short-my parents ended up buying the property to “give” to the church for ministry purposes. My parents “rented” the property to the church free of charge and owned it themselves. {In case you are wondering-properties are very cheap around here because of the neighborhood we live in} At the time I was the children’s ministry leader and ran several programs out of the property which became known as the Hope House. 011Since it was next door, it was very easy for me to balance work and family at the time {this was when I only had Pac Man}.

Fast forward a LOT…years later we realized that we did not have the correct insurance policy to be doing ministry in the Hope House, so research began. In the end we realized that to insure the property for ministry use was outrageous, our current company wouldn’t even do it! My parents had a decision to make-either sell the property or figure something else out.

They prayed and talked and came up with a solution. The upstairs was renovated {very nicely} to make a 2 bedroom apartment which is now rented out by our good friends and ministry partners, a young couple-married almost a year now.

The downstairs was gifted to us for personal use!

My parents truly just wanted to bless us and surprised us with the gift of the space. Since it is right next door to our house AND my husband is the renovation MASTER, it became a very clear reality of what we could do with the space. The plans were made and work began this past spring. We hit the major turning point in July when the houses were connected…IMG_4396 The boys are standing in the current kitchen looking into what is now the new dining room, which today looks like this {well, not quite that clean still}…IMG_6217The dining room was completed last week and today the carpet is being put in the school room which is two steps down below the dining room to the right {when looking at the photo above}! The addition of the dining room is an additional blessing due to the space it provides for fellowship! We have people over here a lot and it is always a tight fit in our kitchen to eat meals and socialize. Now we have a large comfortable space and we are SO excited to share it with MANY!

So yes, the schoolroom was an addition onto our house, but in a most unusual way-totally God! We feel very spoiled and blessed, I have actually shed many tears of joy over this. You homeschoolers will understand that for sure-the gift of a large homeschooling space is something we all dream of. I NEVER thought it would happen for us, I was just thankful to have the 9×10 room we had. It is not something we needed, not even something we asked for-just a total surprise! We are so incredibly thankful!

Stay tuned for the pictures of the schoolroom in progress. The carpet is being put in right now and then the move in begins. I plan to share an update with you soon!

UPDATE 11:00 AM…Feet have hit the carpet!!!!!!!!

Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 16.5 months old~

Tot Trays

Ladybug’s Tot Trays for the week…

  1. Fisher Price Farm Bingo {consignment sale find, no longer available}
  2. Straws and an empty parmesan cheese bottle
  3. Paint tray from Oriental Trading, beads to put in it
  4. Empty baby food container with cut outs done with a pocket knife ;-) for the little foam shapes we got form Target’s $1 aisle recently!
  5. Crayons and paper.

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Good thing I snapped a photo at the beginning, because I barely had my camera out during her Tot School times at all!  Here’s the only 2 photos I got from the entire week {and she DID play a lot with her stuff!}IMG_6480 Trying to ask me to put the lid on!!!IMG_6485

  Learning Toys

Krash and Ladybug both continue to LOVE our Bristle Blocks!IMG_6489

Life SchoolWe were away on our semi-annual church staff retreat Mon-Wed, so Ladybug’s life school was super fun!  She got to go swimming…

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She got lots of extra Daddy time!  We were at a retreat center on the Chesapeake Bay, so it was beautiful!!!  Riding in the ErgoIMG_6335 Listening to Daddy whistle the grass…IMG_6362 Figuring out she doesn’t actually like the grass!!!IMG_6381

 

Additionally, Ladybug has mastered signing please and thank you, I thought you might want a peek, since it’s so stinkin’ cute {and NO I am not biased, at all}  ;-)

 

She has since added “book” and “all done” to her list, and is VERY into it all now, a light switch has definitely gone on in her brain!!!

 

Moms Favorite

Not only is this my favorite photo of Ladybug, this is my new favorite THING.  We were recently sent this amazing bean bag chair from www.ahhprods.com and I cannot even begin to tell you how much we LOVE it!  As you can see, it’s VERY popular with Ladybug ;-)IMG_6518

 

Tot School

~Ladybug is currently 16 months old~

I did it again, Ladybug’s Tot Trays were not changed up a bit this week. The new schoolroom is almost done and I was sick for days-then Daddy,  FLEXIBILITY is the word around here.  Everything is just up in the air until we settle in the new room.

Learning Toys

The boys enjoyed sorting Ladybug’s bear stackers by color…she enjoyed watching…IMG_5933

Ladybug is in love with her Geo Sorter, she takes all of one color out and rearranges them… IMG_5938Books are still a favorite…IMG_5904 We collected all of our indoor balls, and had a fun ball play time…IMG_6092

 

Life SchoolOne of Ladybug’s favorite places to be, on the bottom bunk of the boys’ bed.  Pac likes to hide out on the top and make her giggle with a bit of peek-a-boo!   IMG_5978She loves to get into his stuff ;-) IMG_5990

Moms Favorite

Crawling around on our new dining room floor!!!!!IMG_6177

 

~Sorry for the delay this week, my internet has been down for 2 days and now I am out of town until Wednesday with very spotty internet.  I will be back to normal on Wed evening, that is if the internet is figured out by then at home {it better be!!!!}.  Thanks for your patience with emails and such, I am replying as I am able to.

Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Letter Vv

Raising Rock Stars Preschool letter V

Rock stars 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 ~ Vv, our verse: Verily verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me shall have everlasting life.

This verse is a bit complex and honestly I would have switched it to NIV if it weren’t for the V in Verily ;-). I did not push the exact word for word memorization of this verse as much as the meaning. We talked about everlasting life and what this means. You will see that the unit itself focuses on Jesus being the one and only way!!!

Krash enjoyed using his new Bat Man markers to color his Bible Verse Coloring SheetIMG_4692

 

 

Cutting his vocabulary cards…IMG_4694

Cutting his verse…IMG_4751Taping is a VERY favorite activity and he now does very well with it. IMG_4753After completing his verse, he asked me to put it on his head. He told me he was a pirate. ;-)IMG_4757

He wore his pirate Bible verse hat while he worked on his tracing…IMG_4780

 

 

Cutting out his ONE WAY JESUS arrow craft…IMG_4858

We also did our PowerPoint several times for this lesson. 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 Vv unit here.

techy time

We reviewed our Armor of God PowerPointIMG_4350

He also worked with our new Fun ABC Power Point showIMG_4351

Both shows are located in our Members Only area.

in the box

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

Mr. Crunch from our Grashopper Preschool Prep Kit has become a FAST favorite. We were sent this awesome Getting Our Hands Ready kit to review and have just begun by using Mr. Crunch. Krash loves this! What’s the point you ask? Mr. Crunch is designed to strengthen those little hand muscles in a fun way!!! You pinch his face and his mouth opens to eat the “bugs” which are similar to mini erasers.

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We also played with the dough and mini dough stamps. He loved this! You’d think the boy had never played with PlayDoh before! This dough is different than PlayDoh, he really liked it. The kit comes with a container of the dough, a rolling pin and these little stamps. K loved using his muscles to roll the dough out and then creating patterns with the stamps.

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IMG_5055Stay tuned, you’ll be seeing more of this awesome kit! It is filled with activities to get those adorable little hands ready!

We played memory with our new Shape cardsIMG_4301

We also did a few extra V activities! We focused mostly on V is for vegetables, since that’s what most of our V activities were based around. We read tons of vegetable books too!

Vv’s on a Play Doh matIMG_4974

Counting vegetables and matching them to the correct wheelbarrow… IMG_5070

He dot painted V is for VegetablesIMG_4760

We did one of the ABC Crafts from Totally Tots. We made the V craft, I forgot to snap a picture of it, so here’s the image from TT ;-)…image

 

 

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, Lincoln Logs, and Learning Links. IMG_4982

 

 

game timeOur game this week was Zingo. Zingo is a fun and very simple game, which is right up my alley.

Krash likes Zingo a lot. He asked to just “play” by himself a lot. We also played together just about every day! Skills we focused on while playing Zingo…

  • Print awareness…I used the cards to point out the words under the pictures,
  • Beginning sounds…we talked about several of the cards as we played them and I asked K casually what sound he heard at the beginning of the word.
  • Small muscle skills-needed to properly make the card thingy slide each time. K really had to focus on this to get it right.
  • Taking turns, being polite, being a good loser!

IMG_4294 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.

Feeding each dinosaur 1 piece of our felt food. This boy love to count and line things up!!IMG_4133

Stacking cups continue to be a favorite around here. K has begun trying to stack pyramids himself now…IMG_4369

He mostly likes to knock them down though!!!IMG_4781

A bit of sword fighting…boys will be boys {and I love it!}

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K isn’t my book lover {that’s Ladybug}, but every now and then he gets engrossed in a certain book. This day it happened to be our Pets book from Usborne.IMG_4684

The boys had a blast playing rocket ship in our empty box {the same box that was used for the slimy pit}. The imagination and creativity I overheard was awesome! They went on all sorts of adventures.IMG_4925

Then they decided they would decorate their rocket. {yes this is a view in our new schoolroom. The boys are standing in the new dining room, and down below them is the new school room} IMG_4932

Krash got to go to the Reading Rocks party at our church this year! He didn’t participate in the full program {next year he will, it’s ages 5-12} but he did come one day so we let him come to the celebration. He was thrilled to get his certificate… IMG_4826VERY proud of his backpack!!!!IMG_4844

There’s my boys with the whole group of kids this year! Each one is sporting a brand new backpack LOADED with school supplies!!!! IMG_4850 ~Reading Rocks is a program I developed at our inner city church to motivate kids to read!!! This was our 6th year hosting the program!!!

We are still Minute to Win It fans. I catch the boys practicing on their own sometimes. Here they set up their own version of Sticker Picker UpperIMG_4371

 

 

Moms fav

Pac taught K how to swing on his rings…

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tools

 

More Preschool Links…

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

Behind the Scenes ~ FAQ {printing, finding things, and more}

Behind the Scenes Lately I have been getting emails asking similar questions many times. I realized it might be a good time to answer a few of these publicly in case there are others who have them too! I used to categorize these posts as “From My Inbox” but decided to just add them into Behind the Scenes. If you want to see old posts similar to this one with random FAQ you can see a gathering here.

Here are the questions I have received most frequently and their answers…

  • I can’t get my PDF documents to print right, the text is all smudged and things are just off?
    • You need to go online and install the most recent Adobe Reader update. This is the problem 99.9% of the time! It’s that simple!
    • If you are using a MAC-the problem is usually because you are using the standard Mac PDF viewer instead of Adobe, Make sure you have updated Adobe and that your downloaded files are opening in Adobe and not the Mac viewer and things should be fine!
    • Sometimes Google Chrome can be the problem. Try opening in Firefox or possibly IE and see if that helps. I personally use and love Firefox!
    • You can see a thread on my Facebook page here offering even more troubleshooting tips!
  • I can’t find the vocabulary cards {or easy reader, or handwriting letter sheets, etc.} I see in your posts, did you make these and if so where are they located?
    • Everything you see me post about for Raising Rock Stars Preschool in my Preschool blog posts is included in one big PDF download for each letter. You just go to each letter resource page and click on the graphic of the Bible verse sheet {see below} and the entire PDF packet will download. The handwriting sheets, vocabulary cards, and everything is included in that one file.

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  • Where are the links to the Raising Rock Stars Preschool lessons and are they free or just for Members?
    • They are FREE! I provide the base printable program for free and have no plans of changing that! In the Members Only section there are PowerPoint lessons and some additional printables {for example~ the review printables}, but the base program is free.
    • If you look on the main RRSP page and scroll down, you will see a blue box {see image below}. The links to the letters that are available for free are right there. Just click on the letter and you will be taken to the resource page for that letter.

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I hope the answers to some of these FAQ will help someone!