Monthly Archives: June 2016

Summer Fun Activities

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Now that summer is here, we are all looking for something to do with our kids.  Probably, if you are like me, you are looking for something cheap in between a couple vacation weeks.  There are so many things you can find to do with only dollar store items, and all kinds of cheap supplies.  In this post I will share a few that are really fun and simple for the younger crowd.

Sponge Necklace

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This is a really “cool” idea – I mean “cool”.  Get some basic sponges, cutt them in small cube shapes.  Thread a needle and run the thread through all the sponges making a necklace long enough for each child.  When you are done, wet all the sponges and wear to keep you cool while playing out side.  You can also use a toothpick and tie the thread to it so your kids can make by themselves.

 

 

Shower Curtain Dry Erase Board

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This is fun for any age!  Get a white shower curtain liner, spread it out anywhere (I prefer on the grass).  You can do this inside as well, great for a rainy day actually.  Get some dry erase markers, and away they go.  The shower curtain can be washed off again and again to re-use it many times.

 

 

 

Painting With Glue

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This can be done at the picnic table!  All you need is glue, food coloring and tooth picks.  You can do this on a plastic lid, aluminum foil, or just about anything really.  Put some glue on your surface, and use the toothpicks to dunk in the food coloring.  Then take the toothpick and swirl it around in the glue, making any designs you like.  When the glue dries, you have a masterpiece!  You can frame these, or have your kids make sets to hang in their rooms.  This is so much fun for the junior age set.

 

 

Match Box Car Track

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This is a great idea for those kids who always have a car in their hands.  Take some painters tape (will be able to remove easy) and make a roadway on your carpet or bare floors.  You can add stop signs, road signs, trees or just about anything really.  The bigger the track the better by the way.  This actually is a two fold craft, your kids can get construction paper and cut out just about anything they want to put on their road map.

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget your local Home Depot and Lowes stores!  Home Depot has Kids Workshops on the first Saturday of every month.  Lowes has a Build and Grow program with great opportunities to join your young ones to create something wonderful.

My boys really loved this when they were younger.  The great thing about doing these things at Home Depot and Lowes is that they provide all the supplies you need.  It makes for a great father/son or father/daughter day!.

Feel free to let me know of any ideas you may have, I always enjoy hearing what other people are doing over the summer.  Hope you are able to get some much needed family time in, and remember, kids don’t care what it is, they just whant to be with you.

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Why Do I Homeschool?

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Some days I think, how can I keep doing this.  The days seem to stretch on, and the years just start to blend together after a while.  My two oldest have graduated – so I’ve been at this for quite some time.  My youngest is only 12, so there ya go – I still have some time left in this homeschool thing.  I was asking myself the other day, what has motivated me through the years to keep this up.  Not only the fact that I love my children dearly, and would do anything for them.  But, what has truly been my motivation for keeping them out of public school.  I’d like to share a few thoughts about this with you in the post.

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Google Searches That May Surprise You

Someone shared this search with me one day, well needless to say, I was overwhelmed.  When I started homeschooling 23 years ago, there was no way to find this kind of information.  I remember that friends of mine would complain about certain things going on in public school, but I never thought it would come to this.  I originally chose to homeschool because I wanted my kids to have a Christian education, and we couldn’t afford private school.  I realized after I started getting more involved with some of the issues that were showing up in the news and around town, that I knew we made the right decision.  Now, again I realize not everyone is able to homeschool, nor even wants to.  I just want to make aware some of the things that motivated me.

With the internet available to almost every child out there, the influences they are getting are not always the ones we would choose for them.  Cyber bullying, stalking, any kind of predator out there that wants to get at your children.

Childhood Depression

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Statistics from NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) has some very scary information.  There is so much pressure put on them to succeed and do well, and being picked on or made fun of by their peers, it’s too much to bare.  I’m not saying homeschool so you can shelter your kids from these issues, but if you can deal with them on a day to day basis, rather than them not telling you about it at all (which is half the problem) you will be ahead of the game.  The important thing to me is keep the lines of communication open, sure you may not know everything that is in their lives, but this will help them feel open to talk to you.

By the way, my kids did have issues, still have issues actually, but if nothing else – they will talk to me.  They know that I will be there for them no matter what, some of the issues have been pretty heavy, but they know I’m there!

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Peer Pressure

You can look at peer pressure in two ways.  While peer pressure is mostly viewed as negative, sometimes your friends influence can be a good thing – they might stop you from doing something that you may regret later such as smoking, drinking, or taking drugs.  Almost everyone has experienced peer pressure before, either positive or negative. Peer pressure is when your classmates, or other people your age, try to get you to do something.  It is so easy to give in to peer pressure because everyone wants to fit in and be liked.  Especially when it seems like “everyone is doing it”.  Sometimes people give in to peer pressure because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or they don’t want to be that kid who isn’t “cool”.  Unfortunately, there are more and more of these pressured situations out there today.  With the internet so easily accessible your child has more and more chances to feel this pressure.  I mentioned cyber bullying before, but this is one of the greatest growing problems with children today.

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The following are some positive ideas I would try to have my children focus on:

  • Understanding your own values and beliefs
  • Have Self-confidence
  • Choose your friends wisely
  • Talk to a trusted adult
  • Don’t make excuses – say exactly how you feel

 

child-945422__180One of the other main issues I had was what they are learning.  I wanted the curriculum I used to have some Bible influences.  I didn’t want them learning about evolution, but yes, creation.  I wanted them to have a more focused school day and not be one of thirty in a classroom.  If you are not involved with your child’s everyday learning process, you may not even know what they are doing in school.

HSLDA has collected some statistics on different ways children learn.  This is another reason you need to be involved in your children’s school and everyday lessons.  If your child is having issues, there may be a way to greatly improve their learning experience.  I have noticed, just with my children, all three of them have certain learning styles.  For instance, one always had issues with math, while the other had problems with English and Literature.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay on top of your child’s learning patterns and what works best for them.

Information taken directly from HSLDA website.

  • Lookers (technically termed visual/spatial learners) process information best when they see it.
  • Listeners (called auditory learners) are most efficient when they can hear information.
  • Movers (kinesthetic or tactile learners) function best when they can physically interact with information in a hands-on way.

So whether you do decide to homeschool, or if public school is your only option, be a part of their learning experiences.  Know what they are doing in school, see who their friends are, who are they texting?  Another words, stay involved, be aware, and by all means, let your children know you care.

15729A Mom After God’s Own Heart: 10 Ways to Love Your Children 

by Elisabeth George

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Social Media and Children

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In these days of technology and growth of Social Media, it is almost a given that you will use this for any of your educational needs.  There are many ways you can look up information, share with homeschool groups or even Pin some of your favorite things to do.  There is no doubt this can enhance your children’s interests and keep them motivated.  Please keep in mind, Social Media can also be used in a wrong way if you don’t monitor your youngsters.  There are people out there with not so good plans when they use the internet.  Be wise in your choices of what you’ll let your child use without your guidance.

As the number of families choosing to homeschool grows, the needs and interests of these homeschoolers continues to grow.  There are many reasons why people choose to do this, not only is it because of their religious beliefs, but for the flexibility of the daily schedule.  Also, to be able to choose your own curriculum that allows creativity, arts and sciences.  For parents whose work schedules require extensive travel, homeschooling or even unschooling, allows for few interruptions in the learning process.  In fact, traveling is often incorporated into the curriculum.  Social media has just added to the extent to which you can follow your interests and friends.

Sharing Insights

You can share just about anything from pictures, videos, website links or whatever you want.  Your homeschool groups can definitely benefit from this, especially if you are working on a project together.  Kids like learning this way and being a part of the overall technology that’s out there today just about everywhere.  If you work with the closely, they will learn their way around and also learn to be smart about decisions they make online in general.  You can learn to use your computer in a fun way, and also join groups and sites that have things to promote your ideas as well.

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Social Media is basically their so you can chat with friends, family and interact with those on other networks.  Students tend to prefer Facebook, and this is one of the most famous platforms out there today.  Again, there are people out there that stalk naive children and grown ups alike.  You are able to build a big network, just be sure you know the people you are dealing with.  You can use a smart phone, tablet, notebook to access your social sites, making this that much easier for you to connect with your friends.  As a homeschool parent, you can use this to grow a homeschool group in your area.  Great to have your children meet new friends and interact during field trips and other such outings.

High Schoolers

This is not only for socializing, but high school students can find job postings, tools and online courses to prepare for college.  Nowadays, they can dual enroll when you are a Junior in some states and Senior in others.  They have classes in just about anything – if you just want to better your grade or continue on into education while you work.  You can also research companies you are interested in, join job blogs or Facebook groups to gain some information you may need.  In addition, many colleges and universities are using Twitter to share new job openings and internship offers.  You can basically follow any site on Social Media to keep updated on employment and other opportunities out there.

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So why would anyone participate in a Twitter chat?  For homeschooling, if you choose to participate in a Twitter chat, it can provide forums where everyone has a voice and the opportunity to contribute, and an audience willing to listen.  Oftentimes we go about our homeschooling routines without giving consideration to someone who is feeling overwhelmed.  Social media makes it possible to interact with thousands of people whom you may never meet, right from the comfort of your home.  For those willing to make an effort to connect, step outside of their comfort zone, social media has the potential to be very enlightening.  You can definitely find some good homeschool groups through Facebook as well.


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