That Says | A Homemade Phonics Game

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Several years ago, I looked into buying “Hooked on Phonics”, but letting go of two hundred plus bucks was way more than I was comfortable with. I decided to come up with a game myself and by involving the kids in the creation of the game, they catch on just that much easier.

Instructions for creating the game:

Use a phonics website like this http://www.phonicsontheweb.com/letter-sounds.php to find a list of letters and sounds. Start with the letters from your child’s name. This is a great way to get them interested. If your child has letters that combine to make another sound like th or eigh, go ahead and use them, but don’t separate them.

Cut index cards in half, width wise. Print “THAT SAYS” on one side of each card. On the other side put one of the letters at the top of two cards. Leave a space for a picture and put a word that starts with that sound at the bottom. Make sure the word is something that your child can draw or take a picture of. Then, have your child draw that picture in the middle of the cards. You can also find pictures in magazines or take pictures with a digital camera and paste them in.

Repeat this process until you have 20 cards for your beginner deck. You will add to this deck later, but let your child become very familiar with these first. When you see that he/she has mastered these, add 2 or 3 more sounds at a time. If the deck gets too large, remove some of the older sounds and rotate a different older sound into the deck each time you play so they don’t forget them.

There are three different games that can be played with these cards.

I like to start out with a simple memory match game. Put all the cards face down on the table. The first player turns over a card and reads it like this: “This is the k that says “k” (making the k sound) like in kayak.” (It is important for the children to say this out loud and not just look for matching cards. The idea is for them learn the sounds. That can’t happen if they don’t say the sounds out loud.) Then the player turns over another card and reads it the same way. If it is not a match, the cards are turned over and the second player gets a turn. Continue taking turns until all cards have been matched. This game can be played as a solitaire game while Mom is listening as she cooks dinner or hems a garment.

The next game is a Go Fish type game. Deal 5 to 7 cards to each player. Put the rest face down in a “draw” pile. The first player looks at his/her cards and tries to make a match. If there is a match, the matching cards are to be “read” as in the memory game and put on the table. If there isn’t any match, the player “fishes” for a matching card by asking another player “Do you have … and then “reads” the card he/she is looking for. If the other player doesn’t have the match, a card must be drawn from the pile. If the card from the pile matches one in his/her hand, the player “reads” the match and places the cards on the table. If the player runs out of cards, he/she must draw one more and wait until the next turn to ask about it. All the players take turns until the deck runs out. The player with the most matches wins.

The last game is a rummy type game for advanced players. The deck should consist of at least 50 cards for this game, with 2 or 3 extra cards for each vowel. Deal 7 cards to each player. On each turn, the player tries to create a word from his/her hand. If there is any question about the spelling of a word, have a dictionary handy to look it up. If the player cannot make a word, he/she must draw 2 cards from the pile and discard one. If the discard pile has more than 2 cards, the player may choose to pick up the pile. He/she does not have to pick up the entire pile, but must pick up all the cards on top of the card he/she chooses to start from. When one player is out of cards, the game stops. Each player counts his/her words and adds that number to the total number of cards he/she has on the table, then subtracts the number of cards he/she is still holding. The person with the highest score wins that round. If you desire to play more than one round, set a winning score to work for and keep a running tab for each player. Scoring this game is a great way to practice adding, subtracting and negative numbers too!

Have fun!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

8 Steps to Reading | Curriculum Free

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It’s not all that hard to teach your child to read. Dick and Jane basic readers can be fun, but they really aren’t needed. Throughout most of American history, the only book most children ever had access to was a Bible. And they learned to read.

Our society makes learning to read hard because we push our kids to read before they are ready. To be able to read well, there is a nerve between the eye and the brain that needs to mature. If it isn’t developed enough, teaching a child to read is very difficult and very frustrating. The normal time for this nerve to develop is between the ages of 4 and 12. If a child is potty trained at 18 months we are happy, but if she doesn’t get it down until she is 3 or 4, it’s not really a big deal. We recognize that each child develops differently in this area and no one can tell the difference when they are 30. We actually handicap many of our kids by insisting that they read before they are ready. Read to your child every day. Don’t get all uptight if he doesn’t seem interested in reading. If you wait, it will be much easier.

Signs your child is ready:

Knows what signs on the street or at a store mean.

Expresses an interest in letters

Asks to learn to read.

 

When he expresses an interest, follow these 8 steps and he will be reading in no time.

1st step – When reading to your child, always follow along with your finger.

2nd step – Show your child what a capital A looks like. Have your child find another one on that page. If that is too hard, narrow it down to a line or maybe even a word. When he can identify an A, work on identifying the lower case a. Then do B, b, C, c etc. until he is familiar with the entire alphabet. Play lots of games to help identify letters too.

3rd step – Tell your child what the letter “b” sounds like. Use the letter sound instead of the name and ask her to find that letter. Continue until your child knows all the consonants and short and long vowel sounds.

4th step – Work on diphthongs. “The ch says “ch”. Can you find the letters that say “ch”?

5th step – Work on 2 or 3 letter sight words. Show your child the word “is”. Can he find another “is”?

6th step – Explain basic vowel rules. If it is a vowel-consonant-vowel, the letter sounds like its name. If it is followed by 2 consonants it has a “short” sound. Show her some examples. Ask your child to find other examples. Continue until she can find examples when you ask for each sound.

7th step – Have your child sound out words. Help him whenever he forgets, but make sure he really tires before you tell him what the word is. If your child is reluctant or seems frustrated, have him sound out one word in every sentence with you reading the rest until he is more comfortable. Until your child demonstrates comprehension, always go back and read what they have sounded out.

8th step – Once your child is reading full sentences, stop her frequently and ask questions about what was just read.

Be sure to praise your child heartily every step of the way!

 

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap Up | January 20th, 2017

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Tired of scrolling? Each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

BIBLE

 

Read Acts 1:8 to your kids. Talk about what a witness is. Have they ever seen a reporter interview a witness? Encourage them to take a little while to think about what they would say if they were asked to witness about Jesus. Then give one a microphone and ask him to interview a witness for Jesus. Pass the microphone around and let each child take their turn being the reporter and the witness.

 

 

While you are reading the Bible with your kids, take the time to find the places mentioned on a map!

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

Name Recognition Soup

 

 

Elementary

 

 

Let your kids play with their food! Tell them they can’t eat their peanut butter until they have written two spelling words in it with a toothpick!

 

 

When doing your spelling drills, put out the alphabet on the floor and have your kids step on the letters as they spell the words.

 

 

To help your kids learn the keyboard, have them arrange alphabet cards on the floor as they are on the keyboard. They can “type” out words with their feet or play a game of “What’s Missing”. While their backs are turned, remove a letter. Then have them figure out which one it is. Start out with a real keyboard for them to compare it to. When they get good at it, take away the keyboard to make it more challenging. Once they learn the letters, have them make cards for all the other keys and continue playing.

 

Middle School – High School

 

Writing prompt! What would you do if you could travel through time? Would you visit the past first or the future? Where would you go and what would you do?

 

SCIENCE

 

http://www.cuttingtinybites.com/2017/01/winter-stem-build-snowflake-tinker-tray.html

 

 

Have your kids test this one!

You can use pinecones to forecast the weather: the scales on the pinecones will close when rain is on the way.

 

 

Use a magnifying glass to examine the frost on your window!  Extra challenge – try to draw it!

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

 

Do you have a shell collection? Have your preschooler sort them by color, size, type or shape. Have him decide if the gray and white shell belongs with the gray or the white shells. Is it mostly gray or white? Use words like big, bigger or biggest. Do an art project with them making patterns of the shells you sorted.

 

Elementary

 

 

Kid Friendly Videos That Teach Geometry

 

 

Middle School and Up

 This video does a pretty good job of explaining the distributive property!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw893STHN9w

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we made Liberty Bells out of egg carton cups, foil, chenille strips and little circles with the word “free” written on them. We talked about what segregation is and how Martin Luther King stood up to unfair laws that kept African-Americans segregated. What did you do for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

 

MUSIC

 

http://themusicclef.blogspot.com/2013/03/sound-songs.html

 

ART

 

 

Discuss with your kids what “art” is. Drawings, patterns, sculptures, arrangements of colors … what else can they think of? Tell your kids that you want to make a list of all they things in your home that they can find that involve art. Then make a running list, add to it as they find things.

 

 

PE

 

 

My husband’s family has a game they call “Holey Board”. It’s a board with holes in it that they throw metal washers in. Talk with your kids about making up a family game!

 

 

Way to mix PE and Science! Check out this post about the science of sledding!

http://theresjustonemommy.com/2015/01/06/science-of-sledding/

 

 

HEALTH

 

 

Find a little bit of dried animal poo. Now pour some clean water into a container from the tap or your water filter. Ask your kids if that water is alright to drink. Then put that little bit of poo in the container. Ask if it’s OK to drink now. Then dip a little bit of water out and put it in a different container. It doesn’t look like it has poo in it, but it might have germs from the poo that could make it you sick. Talk about why they should be careful about where they get the water they drink from and ways you can clean up water that might be contaminated.

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

 

Do your kids have good phone manners? Make sure they know how you want them to answer the phone and take messages. Role play answering the phone and what they should tell strangers.

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Love these suggestions! Especially the spaghetti and Cherrios activity! You could even teach counting with this one!

http://www.leahwithlove.com/2014/07/mommy-school-playing-learning-with-play.html

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

I didn’t know the Pioneer Woman was homeschooled! Did you?

http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/how-i-homeschooled-through-high-school/

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

Looking Back 14 Years – My Biggest Homeschool Regret

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

ADD/ADHD and Other Misunderstood Gifts

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Let’s talk about learning differences like ADD/ADHD and other supposed learning/mental disabilities for a bit here. What if they aren’t really disabilities, but gifts that are twisted by improper handling?

You can’t raise a beautiful orchid in the middle of a corn field. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to raise anything but corn in a common monoculture cornfield. God created the world with a huge array of diversity, but man is compelled to simplify. And in simplifying he rejects anything that doesn’t fit into his narrow purpose. That pressure to be a stalk of corn out of the fear of rejection twists and damages our most precious possessions, our kids.

As a child, I was diagnosed with ADD and put on Dexedrine (the precursor of Ritalin and Adderall). To be quite honest, I now believe that most of my problems were due to severe undiagnosed asthma and the raging sinus infection that fed it, but even though those things are mostly under control, I still fit the profile of ADD. Because of that diagnosis, I have followed news on ADD and ADHD through the years.

Early in the 90’s I ran across an article in Times magazine (I wish I still had it), about a study that followed 200 boys who were diagnosed with ADHD and 200 “normal” boys for 20 years. The numbers looked bad. We were less likely to have good grades and less likely to be involved in professions that required a lot of formal education such as doctors or lawyers. We were also more likely to be involved in drug use … BUT one statistic caught my attention! 18% of us as compared to only 5% of the normal population were self-employed. Later I ran across a similar study in which 16% of children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as compared with 4% of the “normal” population were self-employed. Then, the mother of a little boy that I was babysitting had her child tested for ADHD in Iowa City. The diagnosis was positive and she brought me a list they had given her of positive traits of people with ADD/ADHD. Every single one of the traits listed was a leadership quality!

What if ADD/ADHD is actually a leadership gift? It’s no wonder we don’t function well in school. Have you ever had a day when you had too much to do? You get irritated, don’t you? Imagine knowing deep down inside that YOU are supposed to be the boss and having to go to a place where there are 20-30 kids your age in the room. You spend your whole day, every day trying to keep track of what everyone is doing. You can’t control a thing, and at 3, 4 or 5 you certainly don’t have the social skills to even begin to do what you know you are supposed to do? You would be a little bit crabby, wouldn’t you? ADD kids shut down. ADHD kids act out.

Leaders learn to be leaders by spending time with leaders. The structure of the family is the best place for a leader to grow because it has a natural leadership hierarchy – parents, older siblings and younger siblings. The biggest reason the occurrences of ADD and ADHD diagnoses have skyrocketed is because we keep pushing our kids into unnatural school settings earlier and earlier and at the same time, with two parents working, children have less and less contact with adults even at home.

What if our school systems are crushing our most promising leaders? If you google “self-employment statistics for ADD/ADHD” you will find all kinds of articles that support my assertion that ADD/ADHD is actually a leadership gift. That’s why when people pull their ADD/ADHD kids from the regular school system, they often find that medication is not even necessary.

I don’t have statistics on other so-called “disabilities”, but I’ve heard that autism is basically someone who is extremely sensitive to outside stimuli. Possibly a superpower that needs to be cultivated in a greenhouse instead of a cornfield? Ask Temple Grandin. Bi-polar? Maybe a similar situation? Could those who hear voices and see visions be extra sensitive to the spiritual world and not crazy? Let’s quit trying to “solve these problems” by forcing our gifted children into cornfields!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | January 13, 2017

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If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

 

BIBLE

 

 

Make a video of you talking to your children when they aren’t around. Then show it to them and ask who it is. Pretend to be surprised when they say it’s you. Point out that you are right there with them. How can it be you? Discuss the fact that the video only has 3 dimensions: length, width and time.

Then discuss how the Bible says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. When He chose to live among us, He chose to limit Himself to the way we and our world are built. He couldn’t be in more than one place at a time. But He was God! We need to “watch” the video by studying the Bible. In that way, we can learn about God and His ways.

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2015/09/free-beginning-sounds-game.html

 

Elementary

 

My grandkids love riddles! Riddles help kids practice their logic and language skills. Here’s a few to try on your kids!

  1. What letter of the alphabet has the most water?
  2. The letter C!
  3. How do you throw a tent?
  4. You pitch it!
  5. What bow can’t be tied?
  6. A rainbow.
  7. Can you name two things that have an eye buy can’t see?
  8. A needle and a hurricane!
  9. Why did the farmer let his cows eat the tall grass?
  10. Because it needed to get moooed! (Mowed)

 

Why self-editing is hard for kids and how to make it easier

 

 

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Grampa Tom loves westerns. One of the things he likes about them is they are often set in real places. He likes to keep an atlas around so he can look up those places as he reads. Encourage your kids to look up the places mentioned in the books and articles they read.

 

 

Writing challenge: Write a set of instructions about how to do your favorite science experiment. Then send those instructions to a friend. See if they can figure out your instructions!

 

SCIENCE

 

http://elementalblogging.com/how-to-record-an-experiment/

 

Both hubby and I have hazel eyes. We have 2 kids with brown eyes and one with blue eyes. What do you have in your family?

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-color-hazel.htm

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

Draw a number on a cardstock. Let your child color it. Then make it into puzzle pieces to put together. Hide the puzzle pieces around the room and let your child find them and put them together.

 

Elementary

 

Cut out all the ads in your newspaper then have your kids put them in order from lowest price to highest price.

 

Middle School and Up

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

When studying a country, have your kids re-create the famous buildings or landmarks from that area. Tell them, they can draw, paint, sculpt with playdoh, build with legos or other building materials, or use something else entirely!

 

Visit your state capitol! Before going, make sure your representatives will be there. Schedule a meeting with them. Have your kids make a few notes about things they would like to discuss with them (issues or just questions about how government works).

 

MUSIC

 

Here’s a fun twist on musical chairs! To begin with, give everyone a notepad and tell them to start a sentence with 3 words on it. ie. – He went to … Instruct them to leave it on one of the chairs set up for musical chairs. Then have them move around while the music plays. Once it stops they must scramble for a chair. When they reach the chair, they must sit down and add one word to the sentence before the music starts again. Anyone who can’t think of a word is out of the game. But, no chairs are removed. Then do another round. Keep it up for several rounds and then read the crazy sentences!

 

ART

 

Sidewalk chalk art counts as art! Snap a picture and write it down!

 

PE

 

Give your kids frequent “brain breaks”.  They will be able to concentrate better and accomplish more if you do. Some brain break ideas:

Set up some cones and have your kids weave in and out of them.

Jump and down for 15 seconds.

Do 5 summersaults.

Go up and down the stairs 5 times. Make sure to hang on to the rail!

Do 15 squats.

Stand on your head.

Pretend you are a tree on a windy day!

 

 

Do you play Badminton? Here’s some history behind the name!

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-badminton-got-its-name?utm_source=GG20170110&utm_campaign=grammargirl&utm_medium=email

 

 

HEALTH

 

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s January, it’s cold out there. Do it anyway. Human beings weren’t created to sit inside breathing artificially warmed (or for that matter, cooled) air all the time. You and your kids NEED to go outside! The more you stay inside, the less your body will be able to handle the cold.

Your internal thermostat is like any other function of your body. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! You wouldn’t want your legs to shrivel up and die, would you? Your internal thermostat is no less important. So, GET OUT THERE!

 

http://jouneytojosie.blogspot.com/2011/10/pearly-whites.html

 

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

What things would you add to these lists?

FREE Printable Life Skills Checklist for Kids

 

 

CHARACTER TRAINING

 

Do you find that your kids need a little reminder to use some self-control? Here’s a little demonstration that can help them understand why they shouldn’t fly off the handle!

Self-Control Object Lesson

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

How brave are you?

http://playcreateexplore.blogspot.com/2013/01/baby-drums.html?m=1

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

Have your teen explore how to write a resume. Have him pick a style and then brainstorm ideas about what he could put on it.

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

How to Be the Mom Your Strong-Willed Child Needs You to Be

 

 

Want to meet other homeschoolers? Go out on “school days”! Hit the beach, the library, the Y, parks, etc. If you find other families with kids, ask if they homeschool. It’s likely they do!

 

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Self-Control Object Lesson

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Do you find that your kids need a little prod to use some self-control? Here’s a little demonstration that can help them understand why they shouldn’t fly off the handle!

For this object lesson, you will need two medicine cups, something to contain the mess, water, vinegar, and baking soda.

First let the kids smell, taste and feel the water, vinegar, and baking soda. Tell them that the baking soda is like our flesh, the water is like self-control and that the vinegar is like things that irritate us.

Fill one medicine cup half-full with baking soda and the other half-full with water. Pour a little vinegar in the baking soda. (Make sure you get enough in it to make it boil over.)

Explain that this is what happens when we put our flesh in control and something irritating happens. We get all worked up and boil over. Talk about how boiling over can cause us to do and say things we shouldn’t.

Then pour some vinegar into the water.

Nothing happens. Explain that when we let self-control be in charge, the irritant doesn’t spill over and hurt others. Let them taste this medicine cup. It isn’t as strong as the pure vinegar is it? Self-control dilutes the irritant so we can be clear headed and figure out how to deal with it.

Everyone gets angry sometimes. Even God! But how we deal with it can make the situation worse if we don’t put self-control in charge.

 

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Weekly Wrap-Up | January 6, 2017

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Do you find motion sensitive lights a bit unnerving? I sure do! I mean, you don’t have to do anything to turn the light on. You just walk into a dark room and trust that the switch is going to do it’s thing on its own. The key to it is to just keep moving, the exact opposite of what your natural reaction is to darkness.

Faith is like that. When God tells you to move into a dark and unfamiliar area, you have to trust that He will dispel the darkness. The key is to just keep moving. If you stop and wait for the light, it won’t happen. Homeschooling is like that! When you first go into it, it is dark and unfamiliar. Just plow in and do it! Trust that God will light your way as you go!

 

 

 

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

 

 

At the beginning of each year, create a time-capsule with pictures of your kids’ favorite things, memorable events from the last year and prayer for the new year. Bury your time-capsule in a closet somewhere so you can dig it out and look at it next New Year’s Day.

 

Tuesday was National Drinking Straw Day. If you missed it, you can still celebrate by giving your kids a bunch of straws so they can build, create art or play games with them. If you need ideas, get on Pinterest and look up “drinking straw activities”. There are hundreds of ideas!

 

Tired of toys and books scattered all over the place? Give each child a book bag and a “library card”. Let your kids “check out toys and books”, but no more than will fit in their bag. If they want more, they will have to return some items and check out more. Require that they present their library card when they check out items and that they keep their toys and books in the book bag when they aren’t being used. An older child could be the librarian. Keeping track of who has what could be a great record keeping activity!

 

BIBLE

 

Game of the Week: Testament Wheels

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/beginning-sounds-games

 

Elementary

 

http://terristeachingtreasures.blogspot.ca/2014/04/using-your-eyes-while-reading.html

 

 

Even reluctant writers can list a few goals for 2017. Encourage your kids to think about what they’d like to learn or do in 2017 and incorporate those goals into your school plans!

 

Middle School – High School

 

 

Read or watch “Dr. Dolittle”. Then have your kids write a story about how their life would be different if they could talk to the animals.

 

 

SCIENCE

 

 

Explore different ways to keep warm. Give your kids large and small plastic bags, and several different materials such as cotton balls, oatmeal, newspapers, different types of fabric, aluminum foil, packing peanuts, etc. Have them line the bigger bag with a material and then put the smaller bag inside that lining.

Then place cups of hot water in each. Be sure to put the same amount of water in each bag and have the cups the same size. Take and record their temperatures. After 15 and 30 minutes take and record their temperatures again. Which materials did the best job?

Have them experiment with leaving the fabric, newspapers and foil flat and then crumpling them up. What works best?  You can also vary this experiment by checking out how different amounts of water do with the same lining or using different shapes of cups with the same amount of water. What other ways can they think of to explore this concept?

 

 

Let your kids pick several things from your pantry to see which ones will dissolve. First look up the meaning of dissolve and read it. Make hypothesizes about which substances will dissolve and which will not. Then put a spoonful of each substance in water and stir. Does it meet the definition? Were you right?

You can also measure the volume of a substance before you put it in the water. Then after stirring, pour it through a strainer and measure anything that won’t go through. Some things will partially dissolve, while others will pick up volume because they have absorbed water.

If your older kids interest is perked, have them go on the internet and see if they can find out why.

 

 

http://thestemlaboratory.com/smart-phone-projector/

 

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

 

What kid doesn’t like a grab bag? Cut up some index cards and write the numbers 1-10 on them. Have your child pull one out of a paper bag and count out that number of pennies. When they are good at that, add more numbers. Later, you can do this activity adding nickels, dimes and quarters to the mix.

 

Do you have a kitchen scale? Let your kids weigh a variety of small objects. Or if you are really brave, get out some flour and challenge them to measure out exactly 3 ounces! 😉

 

 

Elementary

 

Skip Counting | It’s More Than Just 2, 5 , and 10!

 

Middle School and Up

 

 

Encourage your kids to play chess and count it as math. Among other things, Chess improves problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills used in math. Students who play chess increase their math scores by an average of 17%!

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Google “wonders of the world”. Challenge your kids to pick one that really interests them and write a paper on it.

 

 

How would you live if you didn’t have electricity? How would you keep warm? Keep food from going bad? Get water? Explore how people lived before electricity. The things you learn could come in handy in case of a disaster.

 

 

MUSIC & PE

 

 

Put a hula-hoop on the floor and have your kids jump in and out of it to the beat of music. When they are good at that, challenge them to hop in and out on the second, third or fourth beat. PE and music all in one!

Need a hoop? Please consider buying through this link to help support this page. Thanks!

http://amzn.to/2iWRqzZ

 

ART

 

http://www.hellowonderful.co/post/CREATE-GIANT-KID-SIZE-SPIROGRAPH-DRAWINGS?utm_content=bufferf44ad&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer#_a5y_p=5310381

 

 

HOME EC

 

 

Do you have any number cookie cutters? Make some 2017 pancakes today!

If you don’t have any, please consider buying some from this link. There are a million things you can do with them and you’ll help support this page.

http://amzn.to/2hzNeVU

 

 

HEALTH

 

Hubby and I both were both bed wetters and we had one that wet the bed until he was 13. This sounds really interesting!

Primitive Reflexes: Bedwetting – Why Your Child Wets the Bed or Wears Pull-ups after Age 5

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

Ohhh, manners! Are there any of these you disagree with? Any you think should be added?

20 Basic Manners All Boys Should Know

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

http://busytoddler.com/2016/01/baby-ball-drop/

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-high-school-student-behind/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=postplanner&utm_source=facebook.com

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

 I hope you never get a visit from the authorities, but if you do, it’s important to know how to handle it. WCCHE has an excellent post about what to do!

https://www.homeschool-life.com/370/custom/13891

 

Do you have a special needs child? NATHHAN has all kinds of support materials, resources and connections for you! Please check them out. If you don’t please consider donating. It’s an awesome organization!

http://www.nathhan.com/

 

To be truthful, I rarely spent more than 5 hours a week teaching and my kids spent no more than 2 hours a day doing formal school work until they were in high school.

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2016/07/homeschooling-in-only-15-hours-week.html?utm_source=bloglovin.com&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+123homeschool4me%2FWkbE+%28123+Homeschool+4+Me%29

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Skip Counting | It’s More Than Just 2, 5 , and 10!

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Most of you can count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, but how many of you can count by 3s, 7s, or 11s?

Even though I flunked out of math in high school, my kids were great in math. Why? Because I threw out the math books and insisted they learn each basic skill well before they moved on. No addition until they could count to 100, no subtraction until they could add a column of three four-digit numbers. We worked on subtraction until they could subtract three-digit numbers from four-digit numbers. Then before we worked on multiplication, we learned to skip count. I insisted they learn to skip count 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s before I introduced 2 x 2 = 4 and then continued all the way up to 15s before we were through. Skip counting is fun and gives a child a firm foundation to figure out multiplication problems they haven’t memorized.

Here are three hands-on ways to have fun learning skip counting!

Create necklaces that have sets of beads separated by a different color and shaped bead.

Have your child start skip counting by holding and counting the beads that are the same, but just moving the different beads. Then have her whisper “1” and shout “2”, whisper “3” and shout “4”, and so on. Once she has that down, have her just say “2”, “4” … while fingering the beads. When she can do that quickly, have her go backward.

My kids, both boys and girls, love these necklaces and wear them constantly while they are learning. We make them for all the smaller skip counting numbers. They get a little big when you get up into the 11s and 12s though 🙂

 

Play Flip It!

To make this game, create a board with 15-20 squares. Then make cards just a little smaller than your squares for the count-bys your child is learning. Mix up the cards and place them on the table. Start out by flipping the cards over and placing them in the correct square. Show your child how to place his finger on each square and count by the number to find the correct square. When he is really good at it, you can make 2 sets of cards (each a different color) and play a Tic-tac-toe like game. Each person takes turns flipping one card and placing it on the board. If one person fills a row, up or down with his color cards, he is the winner. If you play until the board is full without anyone getting a row filled up, the game is tied.

 

Another thing my kids absolutely loved was jumping on the mini-tramp to skip counting rap. You can find lots of these songs on Youtube. Just search for “skip counting rap”. Here’s a link to a 7s rap!

 

Have fun and don’t push it! It may seem slow at first, but five to ten minutes a day is all you need to get your child ready to multiply. Once they get the first few skips down, they will pick up the rest pretty quick.

Hope this helps!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

 

 

16 Blessings | Thanking God for 2016

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So many people are posting about what a terrible year 2016 was. Yes, there were some bad things, but over the course of my life, I have learned that gratefulness opens doors for blessings. So, I want to focus on the wonderful things that God has blessed me with in 2016!

  1. Thank You, LORD, for my husband’s smile and his job! 2 years ago, after triple-by-pass surgery and the ensuing depression that engulfed him, I wasn’t sure he was going to make it through the winter. But! He’s still here and healthier than he ever thought he could be. 🙂

2. Thank You, LORD, for our truck and our cozy little camper that lets me travel with my hubby and only takes 15 minutes to clean!

3. Thank You, LORD, for the time you gave us to really get to know my oldest son’s kids!

4. Thank You, LORD, for giving my Blue a great home, even if my daughter-in-love likes to torture this country boy who rarely wore a collar before this year!

5. Thank You, LORD, for my wonderful kids! They are all hard working adults who love their families and their mom!

6. Thank You, LORD, that this little guy is now a 1-year-old! He had a rough start being born at 2 pounds 10 ounces, but he made it and we are so grateful!

7. Thank You, LORD, for his rambunctious brother and sister. They have blessed my youngest by giving him a chance to experience the challenge of his greatest love, fatherhood!

8. And thank You, LORD, for this other unexpected blessing! Here I thought Ryan would be my last grandbaby and along comes Grayson! He keeps his big brother and sister busy! My daughter did it right. Having another child when you’ve got built in babysitters was something I could not convince Grampa Tom to do. 🙂

9. Thank You, LORD, for my church in Dallas City and the opportunity to be present for my honorary granddaughter’s baptism!

10. And Thank You, LORD, for my church in Kansas! It is such a blessing to be warmly welcomed by loving people so far from home!

11. Thank You, LORD, for my mom and dad, the time I’ve been able to spend with them and their continued healing!

12. Thank You, LORD, for my little sis who has taken on the care of my folks, my uncle and her in-loves on top of her job teaching Spanish. She is an incredible woman. Please strengthen and bless her LORD!

13. Thank You, LORD, for my jobs cooking for the harvest crew and as a sample lady at Sam’s.

14. Thank You, LORD, for international dinners on dirt roads all over the Mid-West!

15. Thank You, LORD, for visits home! For the opportunity to reconnect and touch base with our roots!

16. Thank You, LORD, for opportunities to explore the beautiful world that You created for us!

And that’s just the tip of all the blessings You’ve poured out on us this year, LORD! Thank You!

What has God blessed you with this year?

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Yeah I know, you thought I was done, but I just can’t resist one more. Back after Grampa Tom had his heart surgery he wanted some slippers. I made him buy these flip flops over his irritated objections because we could adjust their size. His feet were swelling up and going down depending on what time of day it was and how much he had been doing. This summer, Grampa Tom told me he was glad I “made” him buy them. He really likes them! Thank You, LORD, for a man that can admit when he’s wrong!

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap Up | December 30, 2016

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Do you find motion sensitive lights a bit unnerving? I sure do! I mean, you don’t have to do anything to turn the light on. You just walk into a dark room and trust that the switch is going to do its thing on its own. The key to it is to just keep moving, the exact opposite of what your natural reaction is to darkness.

Faith is like that. When God tells you to move into a dark and unfamiliar area, you have to trust that He will dispel the darkness. The key is to just keep moving. If you stop and wait for the light, it won’t happen. Wow …

 

 

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

FAMILY and VARIETY ACTIVITIES

 

Challenge your kids to write a mystery story with math problems for clues!

 

 

Encourage your kids to make money by selling their old things on eBay. Let them write the sales description, take the pictures, figure out the shipping amount, set the price, the whole nine yards!

 

 

 

BIBLE

 

 

 

Challah Recipe | Christianity’s Jewish Roots

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Have your kids write and perform a radio show about Hanukkah.

 

 

 

Preschool

 

Montessori Pre-Reading Activities

 

Elementary

 

Do-Be

Cut index cards in half and have your kids come up with verbs that they can do or act out. Write these verbs on the index cards. make 4 stacks of 10-12 cards. The stacks can contain the same words if you can’t think of enough.

Then ask for a few nouns. Write them on index cards too. Hide the nouns in each of the 4 stacks. Put all four stacks in different places around a room.

Give each child an apron with a pocket. They will keep the cards they have collected in the pocket until the end of the game.

Instruct your kids to start at the stack without any nouns. The first player picks up a card. They are to “do” that verb over to the next stack. Each player takes a turn. Have them put the card they drew in their apron pocket.

At the other stacks, if the card drawn is a verb, the player should “do” the verb to the next stack, but if they draw a noun, they must stand and “be” that noun until the next round.

Play until all the cards have been drawn. The person with the most cards in their apron is the winner.

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Starwars activities in honor of Princess Leia:

http://www.starwarsintheclassroom.com/content/ela/index.asp?sw=3

 

SCIENCE

 

Ahhh! Tinker Toys! Such a great invention! Builds fine motor and spacial awareness while your child explores engineering skills!

http://amzn.to/2i3sdqi

 

 

Does it Dissolve? Kids Science Experiment

 

 

HEALTH

 

Montessori Human Anatomy Introduction

 

 

 

MATH

 

Dominoes are a staple at my house. I love the color-coded set! The colors make it easy to identify which dominoes have what number of dots on them. Little ones can identify the colors and count. Older kids can add the dots on each side, add two or more dominoes together, play a game where they draw dominoes and add or multiply their score on each turn until they get to a preselected number, turn that around and subtract from that preselected number until they reach zero … And then there’s the traditional domino games and of course setting them up so you can knock them all down!

If you don’t have a set of dominoes in your house, please consider buying through this link to help support this page. Thanks!

http://amzn.to/2imf4p4

 

 

 

Preschool

 

Got a train lover? Such cute videos!

 

 

Elementary

 

Domino Math

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

How fast does your remote control car go? To find out, set up a straight line for it to travel on. Say, 20 ft. long. Place the car at the starting point and have someone use a stopwatch to time it. Let’s pretend it went the 20 feet in 5.9 seconds. Then use this formula to figure it out:

20ft/5.9sec x 60sec/1min. X  60min/1hr. x 1mi/5280ft.

Cancel out all the units of measure that have duplicates in the numerator and the denominator.

20/5.9 x 60/1 x 60/1hr x 1mi/5280

Multiply the top numbers: 72000mi

Multiply the bottom numbers: 31152hr

72000mi/31152hr = 2.31 mph (Round the second digit past the decimal)

 

 

 

This is a great week to teach money-saving strategies with all the after-Christmas sales! Go on a shopping field trip. Compare prices, discuss buying strategies and be sure to put in a good dose of “do you REALLY need or want that?”! Bargains are only bargains if you will use them!

 

 

Do you budget? Involve your older kids in the process! And if you don’t, it’s a great time to start!

 

 

 

Not getting paid to promote this, but if Grampa Tom and I had been exposed to Dave Ramsey when we were kids, we would have been SOOOOO much better off! And what better way to teach a kid than through a game!

http://www.daveramsey.com/store/act-your-wage-board-game/prodAYW.html

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Crusade history

 

 

MUSIC

 

Songs with actions like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” “Jesus Loves Me”, and “Wheels on the Bus” do more than teach a child to sing. They increase coordination and fine motor skills.

 

 

 

ART

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

 

PE

 

Have your kids been making snowmen or snow angels? PE and art combined!

 

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Bouncing with, dancing with, or patting your baby to the beat of music helps them develop a sense of rhythm and an understanding of music.

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/kimberly-charron-2/

 

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

http://tinyurl.com/j8hdqwk

 

 

 

 

Check out my Facebook page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

 

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue