Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tot School Tuesday: American Flag and President's Day Unit Studies

At the conclusion of HOD's LHTH Unit 1, we spent one day doing a mini American Flag Unit Study. 

AMERICAN FLAG CRAFT:




AMERICAN FLAG FRUIT SKEWERS:
(idea from Pinterest)



Since the conclusion of HOD's LH2H Unit 2 coincided with President's Day, "M" did a mini President's Day Unit.

SORTING COINS:
Match the pictures of the president's to the corresponding coins.  Idea and pictures from Living Montessori Now.

COIN POLISHING:
Idea also inspired from Living Montessori Now.  Instead of lemon juice and salt to clean the pennies, we used vinegar and salt.  "M" dipped the pennies into the vinegar then into the salt, scrubbed with a q-tip, rinsed in the vinegar, and then polished with a rag.  She loved it and was very proud of her clean pennies.



CRAFT: ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S LOG CABIN
(Idea from 365 Preschool Crafts and Activities)
Supplies:
6-10 craft sticks
Elmer's Glue
1 triangle cut from brown construction paper for the roof
1 rectangle cut from brown construction paper for the door
1 square cut from brown construction paper for the window
1 shiny penny so Abraham Lincoln can look out the window of his cabin


Monday, February 27, 2012

Make-It-Monday: More Appliqued Baby Gifts

This past week we celebrated the birth of a new nephew, and I wanted to make him up a few things.  I have been working on my applique skills and found two more ideas I wanted to try out:

1.  Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Directions and pattern can be found over at Merriment Design.

2.  Tie Onesies
Directions and pattern can also be found on this page at Merriment Design.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Food Friday: Hearty Choco Choco Chippers

This recipe originated from Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone (page 87).  I made a few changes to the recipe based on what I had available, so here is the recipe that we followed:

INGREDIENTS:
*1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
*1/2 cup coconut oil
*1 tsp. sea salt
*2 tsp. vanilla extract
*2/3 cup sugar
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
*1/2 cup white rice flour
*1/2 cup tapioca flour
*1 tsp. baking soda
*1 1/2 cups Dove Chocolate Discoveries mint chocolate baking bits

DIRECTIONS:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
*Cream together applesauce, oil, salt, vanilla, sugars, and cocoa.  Add in flours and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate baking bits.
*Drop dough (about a teaspoon each) onto a baking sheet.
*Bake for 12-15 minutes.





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tot School Tuesday: Little Hands to Heaven Unit 1

We loved our first week of Heart of Dakota's "Little Hands to Heaven".  It is super easy to use, very creative, and lots of fun!  This week we studied Creation, the Letter "Aa", and Number 1.  Perhaps the girls' favorite part was the fingerplay this week.  There is one associated with each lesson, and this one begins:
"A-A-Adam (hands on our face like you are calling out),
Can you Believe? (hands out to the side, palms up)"




Other LH2H favorites of the week:
Drawing trees and animals on a piece of white paper with white crayons, then painting over it with diluted black paint to watch our creation appear (probably needed to dilute the paint some more).


Our Letter "A" Recognition Craft (covering an "A" with cereal)




(with built-in snack time!)

Stay Away Sneaky Serpent!
Pretending that the scarf was the serpent, we jumped forwards, backwards, and sideways over it.


Our week also included some extras that were not in the Heart of Dakota Curriculum. 

Our Montessori-inspired Activity:
Using Strawberry Pickers to transfer pom-poms

"M" started sorting them by colors all on her own!


Other toys/tools on the shelves this week:


LOVE Craft (found this on Pinterest):

Did you know you could fold a heart into the shape of an envelope?  Check out the link for a template and instructions.

Apple Painting:


We also added a sixth day to the unit to review.  One of the resources I am using for extra printables is the blog 1+1+1=1.  Here "M" is coloring one of her Letter Aa Printables.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Make-It-Monday: Applique Shirts and Onesies

I am trying to expand my sewing and crafting skills, so after reading a tutorial on appliques at Daffodil Design, I decided to give it a try.  I made several bird onesies (pattern on her website), and also a giraffe shirt (for "M" to cover a large stain on one of her shirts).  This week I tried making an Arkansas Razorback Hog onesie.  I still need a little bit of practice, but overall I am very pleased with this new skill :o)  It is lots of fun and there are millions of possibilities!




Friday, February 17, 2012

Food Friday: Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just love Pinterest!  I could spend hours on there drooling over the craft projects I'd love to recreate and the food I'd love to try.  But recently I decided that it was time to stop pinning and start doing!  So this week "M" and I got to work in the kitchen trying out some new recipes.  Our favorite of the week: Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chocolate-Covered Katie.  We altered the recipe just slightly (you can click on the link for the original recipe).

RECIPE:
3/4 cup rolled oats (we used Bob's Red Mill certified gluten free)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt (used sea salt)
2 T brown sugar
1 T plus 1 tsp white sugar
2 T chocolate chips (used Dove Chocolate Discoveries mint chocolate baking chips)
1 T coconut oil (melted)
1-2 T milk (start with 1)

Blend first 5 ingredients together. (We used a Magic Bullet.) Mix with other ingredients, form into cookie shapes, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 6 minutes at 375 F.









Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Home with our Children

I know we are just beginning to dip our feet into the raising children and homeschooling world, but what a blessing and a joy it has already been to our family.  A few days ago I had to go get a new ID card.  The woman working there asked me if I was a stay-at-home mom and if I planned to homeschool our children.  She proceeded with questions like:
 "How in the world do you survive all day with them?"
"Don't they drive you crazy?"
"Do they actually listen to you?"
Well, yes, there are time when they drive me crazy and when I wish I had some "time off".  And there are days when they don't seem to listen to a word I'm saying or obey even the simplest of commands.  Some days I do feel like all I do is discipline.  But, I know that "M" and "Boo" are the blessings God has given me thus far, and I know my time with them is fleeting.  I can hardly believe "M" is already three years old.  She was marching around the house in a dress-up wedding dress the other day saying "Bye bye mommy, I'm off to get married!"  I cried.  I know that day will probably come all too quickly.  These are the most precious years to train them and mold them.  I love watching them learn, discover, and grow.  In school this week "M" discovered that when you mix yellow and blue you get green.  This was her reaction:
What fun to share in her joy and discovery!  What a blessing!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tot School Tuesday: New School Room and New Curriculum

Yes, I am well aware that February is an odd time to start the "school year".  We had wanted to start in January, but between traveling, illnesses, and getting organized, January quickly passed!  And as much as I love making up our own curriculum and planning each lesson, we decided that with baby #3 on it's way that it would be better to have some sort of curriculum to at least somewhat follow.  We spent many months going back and forth on what would be best for "M", keeping in mind that we also wanted to include "Boo".  We wanted something that would plant the Word of God in her heart while teaching her typical preschool skills.  We wanted to cultivate a love for reading, encourage her in the arts (she enjoys painting and music), and teach her life skills.  After months of research and prayer, here is what we decided:
Main Curriculum: Heart of Dakota's "Little Hands to Heaven" by Carrie Austin
with "The New BIBLE in Pictures for Little Eyes" by Kenneth Taylor
and "Big Thoughts for Little People" by Kenneth Taylor
along with Focus on the Family's "The Singing Bible"

Each week I will be adding printables from the following books:
"Answers for Preschoolers Book 1"
"Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math"
Kumon's "My First Book of Tracing"
"A is for Adam" by Ken and Mally Ham

"Little Hands to Heaven" has 33 units, with each unit meant to last 5 days.  However, we have planned a review day at the end of each unit, so the units will be 6 days.  In between each unit we are doing a mini history unit using the book "Little Hands Celebrate America!" by Jill Frankel Hauser.

My husband bought us some wonderful bookcases for the room!  Each bookcase gives me three top shelves for storage, and two bottom shelves that will have the children's activities on them, including one Montessori type activity, one sensory bin, one manipulative, one art project, their folders with their printables, and various other puzzles, games, and activities.





We are two weeks into school now and the whole family is loving school time.  Although all of the Heart of Dakota activities could easily be completed in 30 minutes, we often spend 1-2 hours in our school room.  The girls love the weekly fingerplay that is a part of the "Little Hands to Heaven" curriculum, and I think the whole family has learned some new biblical knowledge since we have started.  My husband has been tailoring our nightly family worship times (we call it "Bible Time") to what the girls are learning in school, so it is reinforced several times.  Be sure to check back next Tuesday to take a look at Unit 1!