Blast from the Past: Letter Pointer craft

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.

I saw these really cool letter pointers, by A Differentiated Kindergarten, on Pinterest a little while ago and decided to have Koko and Fifi decorate their own pointers for when we do letters every day.

I had bought 4 tubs of these letters a while ago, put them away and forgot about them.

While Noo was at his maths lessons with Bimpa (my father in law) and Koko had finished his lessons for the day, I inserted a bamboo skewer into each letter. I then gave the kidlets some glitter glue to wild with. They loved it.

Koko has blue and orange letters and Fifi has purple and green letters.

Foam letter pointers 2
Foam letter pointers 1
Foam letter pointers 3
Foam letter pointers 4
Foam letter pointers 5


See more Grade 0/R/Kindergarten Resources HERE

I’ve linked up to Bow of Bronze

Blast from the Past: Possible Reasons for Inappropriate Behaviour

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.

I found this really neat FREE check list on Blue Cat Pies on how to curb inappropriate behaviour. I’ve printed it out and put it in my daily check list folder, I’m a check list kinda gal, LOL.
There are 19 different points on this check list.


Blast from the Past: Letter To A Teacher by Abraham Lincoln

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,there is a dedicated leader
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,if you can,
teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick
Teach him, if you can,the wonder of books
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him they are wrong
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon
Teach him to listen to all men
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if you can,how to laugh when he is sad
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently,but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage to be impatient
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,but see what you can do
He is such a fine little fellow, my son!


Blast from the Past: Dads Are Key to Making Us Human

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.

Source: Life Science

Some 95 percent of male mammals have little to no interaction with their children. Homo sapiens are one of the most notable exceptions, leading some scientists to think fatherhood is an important part of what makes us human.

Most theories for the family involvement of fathers invoke the familiar “Man the Hunter” characterization, in which dad protects and provides for his young.

While fathers do play key roles in securing the physical health of their children, they also can be important for the optimum development of psychological and emotional traits considered to be primarily human, such as empathy, emotional control and the ability to navigate complex social relationships.

Unlike many other animals, humans need their fathers well beyond the act that leads to conception, researchers are coming to realize.

Paternal prep school

There is plenty of time for this emotional hand-off. While other primate babies can fend for themselves in roughly a decade, human childhood stretches 18 to 20 years, said David Geary of the University of Missouri and author of “Male, Female: Evolution of Human Sex Differences” (American Psychological Association, 1998).

Also, anthropologists speculate that the relative helplessness of human children has made multiple caregivers a vital necessity — that encourages bringing dad into the picture. Even today, in both traditional and industrialized communities, a father’s presence correlates with improved health and decreased child mortality, Geary said.

Evolutionarily speaking, he added, the kid-phase probably lengthened as dads got more involved. With an extra person dedicated to caring for them, kids have no need to rush towards adulthood.

Perhaps out of worry for their kids’ future financial security, dads across human cultures mostly focus on preparing children to compete within society. They give advice, encourage academic success and stress achievement, Geary said. But it is not all lesson plans and lectures.

Kids also learn from fathers during a unique form of papa play. Unlike mothers, fathers tend to roughhouse with their children.

“They rile them up, almost to the point that they are going to snap, and then calm them down,” Geary said.

This pattern teaches kids to control their emotions — a trait that garners them popularity among superiors and peers, he said.

Parenting for the grandkids

Good fathers are rewarded with quality family relationships across the board, Geary said.

When children have warm relationships with their father, as well as calm home lives, they tend to sexually mature later. Their bodies intuit they are safe and time is taken perfecting social skills before entering the real world, Geary said.

The extra practice gives children a competitive edge. As adults, they are more likely to form secure relationships, achieve stable social standing and become able parents. In this sense, a father who takes care of his children also gives his grandchildren a leg up.

Not that involved dads must wait to be grandpas to reap rewards from pitching in with childcare. In addition to experiencing the tenderness of the father-child bond, many dads gain a feeling of camaraderie by providing support for mom. Also, the more help a mother receives after giving birth, the faster she becomes fertile again.

Being raised by more than one person also enhances social skills, theorizes anthropologist Sarah Hrdy, author of “Mothers and Others” (Belknap Press, 2009). Children not only grow up more emotionally secure, they are better at taking another’s perspective — a skill critical to our socially-reliant species.

In traditional communities, especially during infancy, extra caregivers are usually female kin, such as grandmothers and aunts, Hrdy writes. But in nuclear families, fathers play this role.

When father-child relations are strained or chaotic, the insecurity can translate biologically as a message to grow up fast, Geary said. There is an unconscious sense that “if you are going to reproduce at all, you better start early,” he said. As a result, girls reach menarche sooner and form clingy relationships, while boys become aggressive and sexually exploitive.

This rarely bodes well for the next generation.

Biological roots of paternalism

The emotional contribution of dads might have some biological roots. Despite conventional wisdom, men experience biological changes during a pregnancy, albeit not as extensively as women do.

Men who are emotionally close to — and usually cohabiting with — a pregnant woman, go through their own hormonal surges, especially just before and after birth, said David Bjorklund of Florida Atlantic University. For example, a new father has elevated levels of the hormone prolactin — usually associated with lactation in women — that trigger his nurturing instinct.

This may be evolution’s way of ensuring more constant care for a baby that is more dependent and demanding than any other newborn in the animal kingdom.


Blast from the Past: Designing a Quiet Time Space

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.


It is so important for children to have quiet time that I would even suggest the lack of it has had a negative physical and mental affect on our children. Without quiet time, children become over stimulated. It becomes difficult for them to manage simple daily routine such as sitting at the table during mealtime or being able to relax in preparation for bedtime. They lack the patience to appreciate the natural setting around them.

When a child has everything scheduled in their life they are unable to accommodate change. With a full schedule of school, sports and play activities being planned for them starting at an early age, the child is actually deprived of making choices, taking time to think out situations and allowing time to relax.

If Play is children’s work, than children are the hardest workers I have met. It important to balance their time and environment with both stimulating activites, and calming, quiet children’s activities. Creating a calm environment can give children the opportunity to listen to quiet music and engage in restful activities (such as puzzles, stories and fine motor activities). This opportunity for quiet time provides the opportunity for children’s growth and development. However, being quiet and having quiet time is rare in the world of children and families, and schools.

True, a classroom or household with young children is seldom quiet. Even the sounds we like – music, TV, sports, pets – can sometimes fill every space of our lives, making us feel exhausted. Has quiet time become a rare treat?

There are many benefits of quiet time: the mind and spirit are refreshed, things that typically go unnoticed get noticed, and the unappreciated aspects of our
lives can be appreciated.

Here are ways to make a habit of, and to make the most of, quiet times:

~ Enjoying quiet moments can happen anytime, but it’s important to schedule quiet time for yourself. Go to bed earlier than usual, wake up before everyone else in the home, walk to a quiet space to sit and breathe, or submerge yourself in a bath.

~ Be still in the quiet time. It’s difficult to do nothing in our busy, goal-directed lives, but try. If you have to do something, try quiet activities like reading, sketching, or knitting. Engage children in these activities and help them develop quiet habits.

~ Keep a “quiet” journal. Write down thoughts, dreams, and life stories to record the best of times and to get through the not-so-good times. Help children to start a journal for themselves. Include drawings, stories, and their thoughts and ideas.

~ Create quiet, and soothing spaces for children to learn, explore and relax.

The Relaxation Centre

(The Book Nook, Relax Inn, Library Centre)
This is a quiet area where children can look at books, view filmstrips, listen to a variety of taped resources and write (emergent type) stories of their own. Books and stories are often shared with classmates. This area should be carpeted, attractive and near a window. Although not ideal, it may be
necessary to combine this centre with the listening area in order to share equipment that both areas utilize (e.g., listening post, audiocassette player-recorder).

Possible Resources to include:
audiocassette player-recorder and audiocassettes
soothing music or taped nature sounds
booklet (blank–for children to draw or write about experiences in centre or to create their own books)
paper, scissors, crayons, felt pens
wide selection ot books, including storybooks, picture books, non-fiction, read-along books, reference books and books made by children (fair and equitable) catalogues, magazines
filmstrips and viewers
flannel board and felt story characters, shapes, letters and numbers, etc.
magnetic board and letters, numbers, shapes etc.
shelf/racks/tables to display books
table (low)
taped story and book sets
compact disc player and discs
computer, hardware and software
area rug

Soothing Experiences

Listening to favorite music
Setting up squirrel and bird feeders to observe wildlife
Looking through photograph albums
Going on a drive
Watching fish in an aquarium
Use Lotion with glitter added to it. Give it to children to sooth bumps or to settle children.

Quiet Time

This is my quiet time
My feet are flat and still
My hands too are still
My hands are in my lap
My head is limp
My body is limp
Now head rest on my knees
My head comes up
Now I am ready to listen.

Outdoor Silence

Help children be better listeners and observers. This simple activity will develop listening, imaging, describing, and drawing skills.
Find a place where everyone can sit down outdoors. Once all are seated, ask the group for 5 minutes of silence. Explain that animals and birds won’t resume their activities unless all are quiet. Once the time is up, have each student tell the group about something he/she has never heard before. You’ll be surprised at the answers you get-sometimes the quiet itself is something many kids have never encountered!

Reflective Painting

Materials: Paint, Feathers, Paper, lullaby music
Directions: Play a lullaby and allow children time to reflect on the tempo and movement of the music. Use large paper and encourage the children to paint a picture using feathers as a brush. I love the effect of black paint on white paper.

For the Adult

Everyone needs quiet time in their day when they can just be with their own thoughts. This isn’t daydreaming. The serenity of quiet time can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be taking a walk, gardening, making a pot of tea or taking a long, hot shower. Each day, take twenty minutes to stop, reflect and enjoy being who you are. Think about the past, present, future or nothing in particular. Relax by yourself and you will feel renewed. Tranquillity will re-energize you. Without trying, you will be amazed at how your subconscious mind releases so many good ideas. As you reflect upon the true sense for your existence, you can better deal with hardships. Take a deep breath and continue to breathe slowly and steadily. Look around. Use all your senses. You will find contentment in the solitude.

Quiet time is really not an option but a requirement. You must have quiet time to be alone with yourself each day to sort out the happenings of the day or the previous day and to put them into their proper perspective. It is time that will allow you to arrange your priorities. You will also find that with time, your quiet time period will start to yield many ideas and creative solutions.

Look up at the sky. Smell a flower. Watch a dog chase a stick. Feel the wind blow. Relax. You can take a walk without exercising. Relax. You can enjoy the flowers without gardening. Relax. You can sit in the park alone and have your lunch. Relax. You can sit in a chair without sleeping. Enjoy. No TV, no radios, no books, no talk, no one with you.

Take it easy.

Be patient.

The rewards of quiet time may not be miraculous but they often are very special. Calmly, you will be able to put small problems into perspective and you will be able to keep small problems from becoming big problems.


Blast from the Past: Skip Counting

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 photo MyBannerMaker_Banner_zps882af649.gifBlast from the Past is a series where I go back into the blog and repost posts that I feel are relevant to our homeschooling journey today.

Noo has been struggling to remember how to skip count. Today I decided that I was going to make and print sheets for him to use and learn from. He does so much better when he has “hardware” to learn from

I made counting sheets that start at 2 and go right through to 20. That is going to help both of us tremendously when we start the multiplication tables.

Please feel free to download them HERE!