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

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!

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/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

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

 

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

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/skip-counting-its-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!

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

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

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

 

 

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2016/12/challah-recipe-christianitys-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

 

 

http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/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

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2016/11/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

Challah Recipe | Christianity’s Jewish Roots

 

 

One of my favorite breads to make is Challah, Jewish Sabbath Loaf. I found this recipe in the La Leche League cookbook that I received as a wedding present in 1979. Can you tell that it’s been used a couple of times by the stains on the page? I was quite the wild child, but soon after we were married, I started seeking God and this recipe really spoke to me. Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

The red head and I made some just before I left for Iowa, so I thought I would share it with you!

 

We mixed all the ingredients but left out about 1/2 the flour so it made a soft sponge and left it for about an hour to raise.

Then we added enough flour to make a soft dough and cut it in two. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a great deal of kneading. It actually recommends adding as little flour as you can … just past the terribly sticky point.

Then we rolled one half out.

We cut it into roughly 3 equal strips.

And then rolled them into dough snakes so we could braid them. (Don’t forget to call them snakes. The kids love that!)

Then we placed it on a cookie sheet.

This recipe makes 2 large loaves of Challah but I was needing some dinner rolls for Grampa Tom’s lunches so we rolled the other loaf into rolls.

Then we set them aside to raise until double. I always start checking on them at about the 1/2 hour mark because if you let a braided loaf rise too much it tends to flatten out and look lame.

They go into the oven at 350 degrees. The rolls were done after about 15 minutes and the Challah took about 35. I check them often as they are baking. Whole wheat is difficult to tell if it’s done just by looking because of the color of the flour. I take it out and tap with my fingernail. If it’s done the crust will be firm, but it’s easy to get it too crusty. Part of it is a matter of experience, the other is your family’s tastes. I like it softer than crunchier. One tip I’ve discovered for a soft crust is to put the bread in a plastic sack while it is still slightly warm.

Challah ignited a life long interest in the Jewish roots of Christianity for me which I’m passing on to my children and grandchildren. May it ignite and/or fuel that fire in you too!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | December 23, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! This year, I get to spend Christmas with my folks. My parents have always made Christmas a special occasion and it’s been a while since I’ve had the privilege of celebrating with them. My prayer is that during this holiday season each of you will experience the blessing that comes through honoring your family.

It’s been kind of a crazy week for me. My mom is much better, but my uncle had a slight stroke so I’ve been doing double duty getting him all sorted out and settled in rehab. He is doing amazingly well. Praise God for that! Many of the posts for this week, of course, have to do with Christmas. You may want to file those away for next year, but there are several Hanukkah and nonseasonal posts as well.

Can you imagine being forced to sell your 11 or 12 year-old daughter just so the rest of your family can eat? Yesterday, I learned about an organization that I really want to promote. It is FOOD 4 SCHOOL AFGHANISTAN. This is a small organization run entirely by volunteers so 100% of your donations go directly to poor families in Afghanistan. They save young girls from being sold or being forced into marriages at 11 or 12 by offering food to these families in exchange for sending all of their children (boys and girls) to school. While I’m not a big advocate of traditional schools, in this circumstance, I’m all for it! Please consider donating! FOOD 4 SCHOOL AFGHANISTAN

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

 

The holidays are a perfect opportunity to snuggle up with your family and watch movies! This one looks like a full-length Chronicles of Narnia on Youtube! Are you a Narnia fan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIFvFquPHoI&feature=share

 

 

Brain Training Activities for Auditory Attention

 

 

BIBLE

 

Hanukkah starts at sundown on Christmas Eve. Why not make it a double holiday in your house? Search the internet for ways to make a homemade chanukiah (the special 9 branched menorah used during Hanukkah) and teach your kids the miracle of Hanukkah.

 

Research the Magi. Start by reading the story of their visit to Bethlehem in Luke. Then talk about how the Bible differs from popular depictions of them. Then challenge your kids to get online and find out as much as they can about them. There are several different theories about who they were and where they came from. Find out about the gifts they brought, their uses in that time period and the symbolism behind them. Older kids can write a research paper. Be sure they understand how to document their findings!

 

Cute Names of Jesus Ornaments free printable!

http://www.biblestoryprintables.com/BibleCraftsChristmasNamesJesus.html#.WFipaOYrLIU

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Have your kids write a story about a reindeer other than Rudolf. In case you can’t remember them all, here they are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen

 

 

Preschool

 

6 Tips for Correcting Pencil Grip

 

Elementary

 

Read the story of Christ’s birth from the King James or another older Bible. Point out the differences in language such as openeth, thee, thy or hath. Talk about how language changes.Point out some ways language is still changing today. For instance, when I was young, many words like “pee” having to do with bodily functions or parts were considered taboo.  What differences have you seen in your lifetime? Share them with your kids.

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Look up Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. What type(s) of writing did he do? Read some of his work. Why do you think he is considered such an important author?

 

 

SCIENCE

 

Don’t read this idea if you are easily grossed out! But then again, you are a homeschooler, you are used to choking it back for your kids!

One of my favorite activities was to buy a beef heart and dissect it. Beef hearts are very similar to a human heart in structure. Find a heart diagram to refer to before starting. Then find the vein that goes into the heart and the artery that comes out. If your kids are really adventurous, see if you can pump some liquid through it by using a syringe or turkey baster to put some liquid in and then squeezing the heart. Then cut the heart down the middle of the side. See if you can find the chambers. What else can you discover about the heart?

 

 

 

Grow an Amaryllis! Plant care counts as science and will bring a little bit of spring into your house this winter!

 

 

Since Hanukkah is all about the miracle of the oil, why not plan a science experiment using oil each day? Just google “oil science experiments” for ideas!

 

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

This one is from a kindergarten classroom, but you could easily substitute names of your family and extended family!

http://mrsbohatyskindergartenkingdom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/lets-learn-our-names.html

 

 

Elementary

 

http://teachbesideme.com/gingerbread-house-geometry/

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

Did you know that square numbers actually make squares? Fascinating post!

A Penny for Your Math

 

Make a simple quilt.

  1. Decide how big it will be. If you’ve never done one before, keep it small. A big one will be overwhelming.
  2. Decide how wide you want the border to be.
  3. Subtract the width of the border x 2 from your desired overall length and width.
  4. Decide how many quilt blocks you want to go across and down the quilt. Again if you are beginning, go easy on yourself. Limit it to 2 to 4 blocks.
  5. Divide the width by however many pieces of cloth you want to have going across the quilt and add 1/2 inch to that measurement. (The 1/2″ allows for 1/4″ seams.) Do the same for the length.
  6. From this, you can figure out the measurements of your squares. You might want, to make a trial quilt by cutting squares from paper and arranging them on a table or on the floor just to see how it will work before cutting your cloth. That way if you have made any mistakes you can correct them.
  7. Sew the blocks together.
  8. Add a backing and then a border. Remember, when you cut the border, it needs to be twice the width plus 3/4 inch to accommodate the seams and the thickness of the materials.

LOTS of measuring and basic math in this! Great project for a teen or tween!

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Did you know there are homeschoolers in China? How awesome!

http://chinachristiandaily.com/2016-12-17/ministry/implementing-moore-formula-in-homeschool-2c-increasing-accepted-in-china_3554.html

 

Look up “latkes”. Learn about why fried foods are traditionally served during Hanukkah. Experiment with different latke recipes and serve them each night during Hanukkah.

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2016/12/in-defense-of-christmas-the-roots-behind-the-pagan-roots/

 

MUSIC

 

Free Hanukkah Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time

 

 

ART

 

Food Art! Home Ec and Art all in one place! Challenge your kids to play with their food to see who can come up with the most “you hate to eat it because it’s so awesome” dish!

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Little ones learn by exploring with their hands and their mouths. Why not make some letter cards by using a marker to make a large letter on a piece of cardstock, then decorate that letter with different sensory items such as pasta, bits of sand paper, chenille, or other items that have different textures each day. You could even laminate them and use foods that they can then eat once you’ve completed the letter.

 

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

Assign one child each week to help prepare meals. make sure they help you plan and shop as well!

 

HEALTH

 

Have your kids keep a food diary for a week. Look up calories, carbs and proteins for those foods. Look up the recommended percentages and compare them to what they eat. Discuss what changes (if any) they might want to consider making

 

Nutrition Activity for Kids

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

8 Easy Ways for Homeschoolers to Avoid Holiday Overwhelm

 

Fearing Chemistry? Beginners Guide To Atoms and The Periodic Table To the Rescue!

 

 

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

In Defense of Christmas | The Roots Behind the Pagan Roots

“Christians shouldn’t participate in traditional “Christian” holidays because they have pagan roots.” If you’ve been involved in evangelical Christianity for any length of time, it’s likely you’ve come across this teaching, and many of you have chosen to celebrate the Jewish feasts and holidays instead as a result. While I am all for Christians celebrating Jewish holidays, I still have no qualms about celebrating Christmas in spite of its pagan roots. Here’s why:

Many years ago, I read the book “Peace Child“. It’s about a missionary couple who felt a call to reach the cannibalistic tribes of New Guinea with the gospel. The culture of these people was the polar opposite of Christianity. Lying was held up as a virtue and violence was revered. In the book, Don Richardson explains that all religions and value systems have their roots in the true religion practiced by Noah. Satan has never created anything. He only perverts the truth. Therefore, the strategy of these missionaries was to find something within the Sawi culture that pointed to Christ. It is a tried and tested missionary strategy that goes all the way back to Paul when he checks out all the shrines in Athens and then preaches to them based on their shrine to the “Unknown God”. Don and his wife eventually find something in the Sawi culture from which they can explain the love and sacrifice of Jesus. It was the custom of the  “Peace Child”. You will have to read the book yourself to find out what it is all about.

 

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I believe that’s what happened when Christians started going north into barbarian territory. There is a story about a man named Boniface who felt called to live among the Druid people of northern Germany. He moved there at the beginning of summer and worked very hard to establish relationships with a certain tribe there, but was having absolutely no luck. Then on the winter solstice, he was out in the woods cutting firewood when he ran across this tribe. They were gathered around a huge old oak tree that they worshiped and were about to sacrifice the chief’s baby boy. Boniface realized what was going on. He ran up, grabbed the baby with one hand and started to chop down the tree with the other hand. The tribespeople were furious, but an invisible force kept them from reaching Boniface and the child. He kept on chopping away until the tree came down with a mighty crash so hard that the trunk split in two, bounced and then came down in the shape of a cross. In the process, a small evergreen popped up out of the snow. He then preached to the tribe. He told them they were worshiping the wrong tree, that they should be worshiping the Tree of Life and used the triangular shape of the evergreen tree to explain the Trinity. The tribe converted to Christianity, the little prince that Boniface saved became one of the strongest chiefs in the territory, and was instrumental in converting many other tribes.

A couple of centuries later, people were seeking ways to honor the LORD Jesus. Back then, only royalty celebrated of birthdays. They had no idea when Jesus had been born, but they wanted to celebrate. They chose the pagan festival of lights to celebrate because Jesus (the LIGHT) had come to bring light to the dark world. It seemed appropriate and it gave them a way to witness to those who still clung to the old ways.

The first Christmas trees were brought inside as a symbol of the Tree of Life. It was decorated with candles to symbolize the light that Jesus brings into our lives. The first decorations were dried fruits to represent the fruits of the Spirit. The giving of gifts began because Jesus said that when we give to one another, we are giving to Him. What they did was redeem the pagan symbols … those things that Satan had twisted and perverted … back to their true roots … the true religion practiced by the father of us all, Noah.

Today, Christmas has been corrupted again, but the story of Jesus is still there in the midst of it. It is a wonderful opportunity to focus on our LORD and spread the good news of His coming. I’m good with that.

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | Hands-On Learning December 16 2016

As I sit here writing the snow is coming down and the temps are dropping. Supposed to have a high of -9 on Sunday. Are you in the deep freeze zone? Think I’ll be staying in this weekend! By the time I get back to North Carolina, I’m gonna think 40 degrees is a heat wave!

My mom came from her surgery and doing great. Dad is doing remarkably well too. The other day, I took him to the doc because he had a sore throat. The doc said he had a little sinus and bronchitis thing going on and prescribed an anitboitic. Later that day we were walking and he was saying he was tired. I told him he would get better (refering to the infection), but he thought I was talking about the Parkinson’s. He told me, “Not from this I won’t.” I said “Dad, you have gotten better!” Last April, when I came to take care of him the first time, he was unable to walk much, hallucinating and sleeping 20 hours a day. Now, I almost have trouble keeping up with him, there’s no hallucinations and he only takes a couple of little naps a day. God is bigger than Parkinsons! I will continue to pray that His will be done in my parents as it is in Heaven! Please agree with me!

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 this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

 

Do you have a bulletin board in your home? Encourage your kids to decorate it each week with things they are learning!

 

 bulletin-board-102071-1

 

 

BIBLE

 

Write the words of a memory verse on the backs of dominoes with a washable marker. Have your kids set them up on edge in the correct order and then knock them down!

mikado-1013877

Find out how to pronounce the names in the genealogies of Jesus (Found in the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke). Then have your kids write them out using punctuation symbols. When they discover that the genealogies are different, explain that Matthew traces Mary’s line and that Luke traces Joseph’s line, but there are common names in both.

img_20161214_120759043

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Our adventure into homeschooling started because I had decided my son needed to start kindergarten, but because he was only 4 1/2 the school wouldn’t accept him. When his older sister started 1st grade, Spence and I sat down for 90 minutes each day and “did school”. All I had to teach with was a few index cards and a Highlights subscription. Within a few weeks, Spence had passed his sister up. That got me investigating the possibility of homeschooling her too and the rest is history.

If you don’t have a subscription to Highlights, please consider ordering through this link to support this page! Thank you!

http://amzn.to/2gQkB9w

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Preschool

 

http://www.themeasuredmom.com/reading-skills-kids-need-theyre-ready-sound-out-words/

 

 

Elementary

 

Do you have a library? Come on! You are a homeschooler! Challenge your kids to organize it with the Dewy Decimal System.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bV_sI8XQdI

 

Middle School – High School

 

Knowing Greek and Latin roots will help your kids break down new words and expand their vocabulary. This game is lots of fun and helps them learn fast! My kids loved it! If you don’t have it, please consider buying through this link to help support this page.

http://amzn.to/2hztSUD

 

rummy-roots

 

 

SCIENCE

 

Challenge your kids to make a Lego maze. Use a marble to test it out! The Geek built this one. We used a small jingle bell instead of a marble since we didn’t have one. It worked OK. He even built a tower for it to go up.

img_20161130_172134432

 

 

How Do Penguins Stay Dry? Penguin Feathers Science Experiment

 

 Put a few paper clips in a glass of water. Then put a magnet on the side of the glass. Try to “catch” them with the magnet. Now try this with vegetable oil, corn syrup and other clear liquids. Is it harder or easier to catch the paper clips? Try a clear plastic glass. What other ways can you try to catch the magnets? Discuss the why the magnet was more or less effective in the different liquids and glasses

img_20161212_093138777

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2016/12/number-pin-up-preschool-math-and-fine-motor-control/

 

Elementary

 

Go out and measure footprints in the snow. Who has the smallest? Who’s is largest? Measure left and right feet. Can you find animal prints? How big are they? If you have a lot of snow, measure how deep the prints are.

 

img_20161210_150117860

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

Figure out the footprint of your house by measuring the outside, drawing it on graph paper and figuring out the area. The formula is length x width. You might have to carve it up into rectangles and squares and add each section together. Extra credit for triangles (length x width x ½) and circles (3.14 x the radius squared)! If you want to keep your kids extra busy, have them measure and figure all the rooms inside. Then add them together.  If you live in an apartment, measure the outside of the building and then measure your apartment. Figure out what percentage of the building your apartment occupies by multiplying the total footprint by the number of stories and then dividing your apartment square footage by the building total.

house-161041

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Proverbs 12:10 tells us: A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Practice being kind to animals by looking up recipes for dog treats and make some to take to your local shelter.

dog-20960

 

 

Choose an issue that relates to the Bill of Rights and produce an ad or vlog that defends your position.

video-37342

 

Just went and bought this book again! I read it many years ago, but I loaned it out to someone. You know how that goes. Peace Child made a huge impression on my life. It’s about a couple who chose to go live among the cannibal tribes of New Guinea and how they found a custom in that incredibly violent culture that they could relate to Christ. As a result, they were able to break through all the lies and the treachery those people were entrenched in and lead them to Jesus!

Great family read aloud! If you don’t have it in your library, please consider buying it through this link to support this page.

http://amzn.to/2hJHrgH

71g1gnukvil

 

 

MUSIC

 

Violins or fiddles are among the instruments used in contemporary and classical music. Have a violin day. Look up the history of violins. Listen to some different violin solos, then as you are listening to other music, point out the violins. Encourage your kids to listen for them too.

violin-1252019

 

 

Find as many glass glasses of the same size as you can. Fill them with different amounts of water. Ask your kids to tap them with a spoon. Listen to the different tones. If you want to get really fancy, use an eyedropper and a keyboard to “tune” the glasses to different notes. If you don’t have a keyboard, you can find them by googling “note sounds”.

img_20161212_074907349

 

 

ART

 

What’s the last thing you made with a cardboard milk box? Put your answer in the comments!

img_20161210_154139294

 

PE

http://creativesouthernhome.com/2015/01/uno-workout-fitnessfriday.html

uno-workout1-502x1024

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

Baby Sitting Practice Using Sensory Bags

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

10 Fun Elective Ideas for Teens

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

You are not qualified to teach your child!

 

Why We Eat Our Family Dinner by Candlelight Every Night

 

http://www.racheous.com/homeschooling/questions-school-parents/

questions-for-school-parents

 

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! Till next week! Stay warm out there!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue