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Growing Up

Growing Up

First Language Lessons – A Review

first language lessons - tips for developing communication and confidence in the early years

This book may have taken us over a year to get through.  I can’t even remember when we started it.  Our slow progress through this book is not due to boredom or disinterest.  Rather it seems life got in the way even as it was becoming a part of our lives.  Through this book we, together, have learned beautiful words, interesting conversations, and simple morals.  We have delighted in language for its structure and its beauty.  And we have gained confidence in public and private speaking.

All that in one little book!!

We just completed Level One of First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise.  It is part of a series published by Well-Trained Mind Press.  And it is WONDERFUL for kids in early elementary!  Approaching instruction classically, it is full of simple lessons for parents and children to work through in just minutes a day.  But it is so rich with language, that it can be enjoyed long after the book is closed. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Simple Teething Tips

Surviving Teeething - simple teething tips from a mom of 4

Sharp, searing pain bringing screams and screeches to a little one who cannot communicate through anything else.  Or maybe it is a dull, driving pain that produces a headache that won’t wait.  I really don’t know what it is like to struggle through teething.  I think God knew what He was doing when He gave us teeth in our early years – so we wouldn’t remember the pain that came with it!  But as parents we need some serious teething tips to help get us through it!

Our kids have never been the up-crying-through-the night-teething-babies.  And we have 4 (I have to say that to myself every now and again to let it sink in)!  All of them have been able to sleep through the pain with a little help from us.  I thought the process we had for our kids was pretty customary –  pretty much the way all parents dealt with it.  But a little while back I posted a picture on my Instagram feed of our current teether with a tip I had not discovered until baby #4 and people commented that they had never heard of treating teething that way.  So, I thought I would share the wisdom I have gained as a result of shepherding 4 kids through the nightmare that is teething. Continue Reading

Devotion, Growing Up

A Simple Latin-English Reader for you

The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home.  This year we are homeschooling a 1st grader and a pre-k kid, while trying to keep a busy and quick learning almost 2-year-old.  Well, we are homeschooling in between nursing the baby and dealing with tantrums and naps and meals (and, and, and).  And there are days that go incredibly well and days where nothing happens of seeming importance.

These are the days when I have to take the long view of the education of our children.

I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones.  I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases.  Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older.  I think: “We can make mistakes.  We can take breaks.  We will have another chance to do these things.”

Ok, that was a little bit of a bunny trail…where was I? Continue Reading

Growing Up

Skip Counting Tips and Tricks – with FREE Printables

simple ideas for teaching skip counting

When we started homeschooling at the beginning of this school year, I had no idea what lay ahead of us.  I had plans, yes.  But there was no way to see what lay ahead.  I compared it to looking out over an abyss and trying to determine what would happen.

But one day, we just began.  We jumped into the homeschool thing.  And we have had a BLAST!

My inadequacies with teaching are still abundantly clear, but we have discovered ways to get knowledge into our 5-year-old’s brain in vast quantities through memorization while still having lots of fun.  We work our homeschool  program around the Classical Conversations curriculum and it has been such a wonderful fit for her.3

One of the most interesting things CC teaches kids is memorization of basic math facts.  A typical Classical Conversations year includes learning new information about history, science, English, and Latin.  But every year, no matter what else is on the agenda, the math facts kids are exposed to are the same. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Simple Christmas Garland for Kids

A super simple Christmas garland for kids to make. Use only one item from around the house.

Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved decorating our house for the holidays. Popcorn strings for the tree, oranges spiked with cloves for the dining room table, Christmas countdown chains!  There must have been a latent homemaker in my little kid heart from the beginning.  And now our girls are loving the process of getting ready for the holidays with decorations and activities leading up to the big day!

We do a number of things to try to get our house and our hearts ready to celebrate Christmas.  It has been such fun to create traditions with our girls.  One of our favorite things is our Christmas book basket.  I put it out on December 1st for the kids to dig into all month.  And every few days, I try to come up with an activity that goes with one of the books in the basket.

Our latest activity is actually based on two books that are both about getting ready for Jesus: Who Is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate and Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson. Continue Reading

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