Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Letter U crafts and activities

For the next letter of the alphabet, there are many fun choices for helping your child learn.

clip art of letter U courtesy of


Monday, February 26, 2007

Why homeschool?

I'm getting to my homeschooling curriculum posts; I'm just really slow at doing the necessary research. I thought this would be a good time to discuss why one should even consider homeschooling. Here is why I intend to home school my children (not necessarily in order of importance to me):

  • Better education - I mean, really! Just look at the average national scores for standardized tests such as the EOG and CAT tests. The ACT and SAT tests keep getting "dumbed down," yet nothing seems to help. Public education has missed the boat somewhere!
  • Safety - I know there are still decent public schools as far as safety goes, but, overall, I simply don't feel that I could rest assured that my children are safe during the day.
  • Philosophy of life - I desire to raise my children according to certain standards and convictions, including the conviction that Jesus Christ is the only true God and that salvation is found only through accepting His blood that He shed for our sins. I believe in the creation of the world in six literal days. I want to be sure that what my children are learning in school is not undermining or contradicting what I am attempting to teach them at home.
  • Shelter - I want to shelter my children from unnecessary and evil influences. The time will come soon enough when they will have to face the world. There's no need to thrust them into a world in which they are not strong enough to stand on their own feet.
  • Flexibility - I like the idea of being able to teach my children according to my family's schedule and needs. Home school is by its very nature more family-oriented than traditional schooling avenues.
  • Smaller class size - need I elucidate further on this one?
These are a few of my reasons for choosing to home school. What are your reasons for choosing your schooling option - home school or otherwise? (Please make sure that anything said is civil and kind, even if you strongly disagree with my decision. I do moderate comment and reserve the right to reject any comment I deem wantonly harsh and combative.)


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Highlighting a neat Mom blog

I just recently found Mom's Niche Blog. I was going to link to a couple of posts that I think are really relevant for this blog, but I REALLY like the whole blog so I decided to devote a whole post to sharing this wonderful place with you.

Mom's Niche Blog is written by a work-at-home mom who also has 3 children. She regularly shares recipes, offers honest reviews of various products, talks about her family and life experiences, and just creates a warm place for moms.

Here are some of my favorite posts:

There is so much more at Mom's Niche Blog. I'm sure that, if you go visit, you'll fall in love with her site, too. I'm adding it to my Blog Roll as soon as I publish this post!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Finally, some original ideas!

While I enjoy providing links to helpful resources, I have realized that I have been linking to other useful sites more than I have been posting original material. I sincerely apologize! I do not want this site to just be a linking site; I want it to be a place with original ideas as well.

Without further ado, here are some activities to try with your children:

Create a play. You can write a simple program for them or, if your children are capable, let them create their own skit. Encourage them to adapt a familiar story or to create an original play. Help them make simple costumes and/or props to flesh out their program. Have them rehearse several times, and then, with all due pomp, let them present their play to the non-participating members of the family. My girls love to act out segments from Peter Pan and other favorite stories.

Hold a treasure hunt. Children just love to hunt for treasure, and the prize doesn't have to be anything huge. I remember one year when my mother gave both me and my older sister a treasure hunt birthday party. We were all divided into teams of 2, and mother wrote out clues that sent us from place to place both inside the house and outside in our yard. (You could also create a treasure map in lieu of writing individual clues.) Each new clue was located with a small prize for each player: a headband at one place, (sugar-free) candy at another. The treasure was a pair of handmade teddy bears.

Create a stop-and-go story. Sit in a circle with your children. You start out telling a made-up story; when you stop (usually at an exciting point in the story), have the child to your left add to the story, and continue around the circle. This can be a lot of fun with young children because you never know what they might say. Obviously, this doesn't really work for infants and toddlers, but around 30-36 months, my girls have been able to begin creating rudimentary stories.

When the weather turns MUCH warmer, make some homemade ice cream. My kids love to help us make the ice cream and definitely enjoy eating it, too!Here is our favorite ice cream recipe. My husband particularly likes it because it reminds him of snow cream. We've made vanilla, banana, and strawberry ice cream using this recipe.

These ideas are not grandiose schemes and may not be anything new to you, but our family enjoys these frugal yet fun ideas. What does your family like to do together?

all clip art courtesy of


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dental Health is fun!

I must say that my upbringing did not emphasize good dental hygiene. I am working on not making the same mistake with my children. I have not had any problem getting my children to brush their teeth, but if you do, find ways to make taking care of their teeth a whole lot of fun. For example, my oldest daughter loves her lighted toothbrush that blinks for two minutes. I love the fact that it keeps track of the time for me, and Pookie Bear no longer needs me to tell her when she has brushed long enough.

Here are some ideas to jump-start your creativity.

Cut the bottom off of 2 liter coke bottles and spray paint them white. They will look like molars. Put them out in your sand and water table with toothbrushes and shaving cream or real toothpaste to practice brushing. - from Perpetual Preschool

Stormie of Preschool by Stormie offers the following riddle that your little ones will love:

I can still remember how I thought this riddle was so funny when Grandma read it to me as a child. Today's young children can enjoy it too. I've always found that most 4 yr olds have a sense of humor and love little jokes and rhymes.

Thirty White Horses
Thirty white horses on a red hill
Now they tramp, now they champ, now they stand still.
What are they?
Define "riddle" to the children (telling someone a rhyme, then they guess what the rhyme means). The answer to the riddle above is "our teeth and gums." Once the children know the answer, they enjoy the rhyme even more, and like acting it out with mouth movements.
Also from Stormie's site comes the following:
From Christena Kaufman, in South Carolina:
Flossing Practice: I made a flossing puppet out of a plastic milk jug: Cut a hole for the mouth, making slits to create teeth. The children then use real floss to practice flossing the puppet's teeth. I added silly yarn hair and big funny eyes so the children really like the puppet itself and are eager to help him learn to "take care of his teeth!"

A list of books about teeth and/or dental health is available at Preschool Education Library while First-school offers Dental Health Coloring Pages.

clip art of tooth brushing itself from


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Input desired from homeschoolers

I am planning to write posts about the different homeschooling curriculum available. This would be for all grades, not just for children up to age 5. I am familiar with A Beka, Bob Jones, Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight, and Saxon Math. I hope to cover many more publishers. What do you use, and why do you like it?


Monday, February 19, 2007

Incredible potential

Have you ever stopped to think how much potential lies in a baby? Each child is born knowing little to nothing, yet in their first five years of life, they acquire a large vocabulary, develop their motor skills, learn basic societal manners, and acquire new skills simply by observing those around them. I was doing some research, trying to find out more specifics of what a child has the potential to learn in the first five years when I found this interesting statement.

"According to pediatrician, Dr. Lisa Caso, of Tender Care Pediatrics, the first five years are the most critical in a child's development. It’s a time when parents should place a great deal of emphasis on love, bonding, and all positive learning experiences. Her claim has been confirmed by research that shows that parental involvement in children’s education is beneficial. Research on the benefits of parent involvement indicate that parents become more sensitive to their children's needs, and their acceptance and enjoyment of their children increase. As the children’s chance of experiencing intellectual success improves, they become stronger socially and emotionally (Peterson, 1989)."

(reprinted from an article at A Child's Journey)
So not only does my child have the potential to learn, but also I am the key to unlocking that potential. For example, read this article about helping your child to learn a second language. The emphasis is really on the parental involvement. As my children get older, I find myself asking what more I could have done to do a better job of unlocking their potential.

What do you do to help your child develop?


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Letter T crafts and activities

Ah, the letter T! There are all kinds of fun activities to help your child learn this letter.

Do you have any ideas for teaching the letter T?

clip art of letter T courtesy of


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Creation Story

When teaching my children about the Bible, I decided to "start at the very beginning - a very good place to start." Genesis 1:1 say, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." So the Creation Story is the beginning.

creation clipart courtesy of


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Keeping an eye on your children's health

Okay, that was a cheesy pun! (You'll see why in a moment.) But if your children are sporting puffy eyes, Bath and Body Junky offers 5 tips for reducing the puffiness, and 3 of those tips are health-related. I know I have often wondered why my oldest child often has puffy eyes, and I may have found my answer.


Monday, February 12, 2007

More Valentine's Day activities

A lot of people have been looking for crafts and activities to do with Hershey's Kisses. I've found a few of those crafts as well as more Valentine's-related ideas.

Family offers this very cute Valentine's Day Blast Off Rocket Candy Card. (Whew! That's a mouthful!) This craft features both a Hershey's Kiss and a roll of hard candy, such as Life Savers.

Perpetual Preschool offers many, many Valentine's Day ideas submitted by readers. Submissions include instructions for creating candy necklaces, handmade cards, hand print flower bouquets, play dough hand print hearts, Valentine's mailboxes, room decorations, and so much more. offers unique ideas including Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies, several varieties of Homemade Hearts, Hershey Kiss Roses, and A Box of Love. You can also read about the Origins of St. Valentine and Valentine's Day or choose a special saying from three pages of Valentine's Day quotations.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The importance of Bible lessons

I was reviewing past posts and realized that I have not yet really written any Bible lesson posts. I will soon remedy that situation, for I believe that teaching the Bible to your child is the most important part of child rearing.

Being illiterate certainly is no laughing matter, but being illiterate will not send a person to Hell. Never knowing about and accepting Jesus Christ's blood payment for our sins will send a person straight to Hell, for Jesus said in John 3:17-18: "[17] For God sent not His Son {Jesus} into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not on Him is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

If you yourself have never acknowledged that you are a sinner and asked Jesus to save you from your sins and become your Lord and Savior, you need to do so today, for no one is promised time beyond this moment right now. If you would like more information about God's simple plan of salvation please contact me using the contact information provided in the sidebar of this blog.

How do we teach our children about Jesus? I'm glad you asked. Tell them Bible stories. Pray with them. Have family devotions tailored to the attention span and understanding of your little one. Help your child memorize Scripture. (My little 16 month old learned to say John 3:16.) Faithfully attend a doctrinally-sound, Bible-believing church. Model the Christian life for your child. Be a good example. Don't forget to pray for your child, for God honors our prayers.

I will begin Bible lesson posts within the next couple of days. Until then, pray for your children and tell them about Jesus.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Letter S crafts and activities

It is once again time to post about the alphabet theme. Today's post is (quite obviously) about the letter S.

clip art of letter S courtesy of


Monday, February 5, 2007

Celebrating President's Day

Unsure of the origins of Presidents' Day, I ran a search and found a very helpful site, InfoPlease, which gave very interesting and in-depth information. According to a portion of their information, the third Monday in February (this year it's the 19th) is the Federal holiday known as Washington's Birthday and was created to celebrate only George Washington's birthday, which is actually February 22. InfoPlease went on to state that whether you celebrate President's Day or Washington's Birthday may depend on where you live. Washington's Birthday is a federal holiday, but states are not obliged to observe such holidays. Consequently, while the majority of states celebrate Washington's Birthday, there are about a dozen that celebrate President's Day, and several more celebrate Lincoln's Birthday as a separate holiday.

Having passed on that interesting bit of trivia, here are some ideas for celebrating President's Day.

President's Day clipart courtesy of


Friday, February 2, 2007

Ideas worth sharing

After writing my own post on indoor fun, I found several other people who recently wrote on the topic of ways to enjoy your family. You will get tons of great ideas from these links!

During the month of January, Shannon of Mommy, Inc. shared her frugal ideas for enjoying your child. Her mini-series included thrifty ideas for reducing child care expenses, saving money on kids' clothes, saving money on a Disney vacation, and having fun with your kids while on a budget. Great job, Shannon!

Lindsey of Enjoy the Journey has a wonderful list of family valentine ideas to help you make Valentine's Day special for your family.

The Common Room has a very long list of frugal ideas for family fun.

I encourage you to take the time to enjoy your family every day.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Winter means fun indoors

Colder weather means the kids won't be outside as much as they usually are. Here are a few ideas for keeping them occupied indoors.

  • Race around the house. My girls and I have been doing this for the past 2 days, and all three of them just love having me running with them. (Let me tell you, that is a sight to behold, and I'm definitely getting some much-needed exercise!)
  • Have an indoor marshmallow roast. Put mini marshmallows on skewers and let your child roast them over a candle.
  • Make a fort or tent out of sheets or blankets. Join your kids inside.
  • Read to your child. If you already do this as part of your regular routine, think about letting him choose a couple more books than normal.
  • Help your child put a puzzle together.
  • Make homemade hot chocolate mix and enjoy a cup with your child.
  • Work with your child on a special craft.
  • Help your child make a special gift for someone.
  • Line up all the chairs from the kitchen table and play train, letting your child be the engineer.
How do you keep your children occupied when they are cooped up inside?