My husband is notorious in our family as a lover of pickles. He is a particular pickle lover – he only prefers peppery pickles. Sorry, couldn’t resist the alliterations! Anyway, we received a pickle ornament some time back because of my husband’s well-known passion for pickles (I may or may not stop). Attached to our pickle ornament was a story of a pickle tradition in which a pickle ornament is hidden on a Christmas tree for children to find. The first child to find the pickle receives a prize. In the years following we have started to do this tradition with our kids. And our kids LOVE it! It is one of the only traditions for the holidays our kids discuss the moment we get the tree out of storage.
We just finished our first day of school for the girls (and AG, by surprise) in our updated homeschool space. I know it is Labor Day. But Labor Day means Daddy is home and I have help for the day. We also have our first community day with Classical Conversations tomorrow. I am trying to alleviate the busyness of the morning tomorrow whilst establishing an understanding that we do school AT home. I had to explain this to the girls a few times because excitement has an affect on their ears!
We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house! It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother. G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months. And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing. Then she started working on learning the letter sounds. By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”
To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet. She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too. But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make. Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.
And on her heels is AG (2 years-old). In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader. His most requested picture books are alphabet related. And he spends much of his time identifying letters. And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.
I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me. They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun! The way learning should look! I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.
This past year our girls learned the Preamble to the US Constitution. Well, I should say, we ALL learned it. Previously, I didn’t know it past “We the people!” This homeschooling thing is good for all of us!
Anyway, as we were working on memorizing the Preamble, I had an idea for a simple craft for the girls to do in order to help them spend some time with the words. It is a sort of puzzle to make the American flag. I spent a long time creating it and when I printed it out for G to work on, she informed me I had gotten it wrong. I guess it took me so long to do the craft, she memorized the Preamble in the interim.
In fact, the Preamble states, “We the People of the United States in order to form a…” I was leaving out “of the United States.” Nothing like having a 6 year-old correct you.
I have been on an extended run of diaper duty: SEVEN YEARS (!!) with no end in sight! Four kids under 7, means A LOT of diapers and A LOT of, ahem…smells. I know I am not the only homemaking mama that has tried it all to make sure that when welcoming guests into her home, they are not immediately tipped off to the fact that my day is full of diaper duty. Because, let’s be real:
It took me almost 5 full years of diaper duty to discover the real-deal solutions to the diaper stink problem in my home, and I know you are going to want to know this, too!
We currently have two little ones in diapers. Ugh… and I have been working on this problem since long before we had our second baby. We discovered some things along the way that helped; but I solved the entire diaper stink problem.
First: You are Doing it Wrong!!
We are unabashed book lovers. This home is FILLED with books of every sort. And we are approaching our homeschooling situation with a sort of mash-up of literature-based, classical, and Charlotte Mason learning. (I love a good homeschool book list!) That means we
While I will never leave my first love (in regards to reading): physical books; I have discovered a secret book weapon. And it is ROCKING my world lately.
You see, with 4 kids in our house (all under the age of 7), I read a lot of books. Check out some of our favorite books here. The books we read just aren’t always books for me. I read picture books, chapter books, living books.