Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa, the Chirstmas Story, Jesus, and Heaven

We're not "doing" Santa, the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, or the Tooth Fairy. I know the arguments for and against. Some people think children need to grow up with a sense of wonder and belief in magic/something special. Others think that if their children find out that they lied about those things that they could think that their parents are lying about God, too. Some parents were traumatized as kids when they found out as children that Santa isn't real. For others it was no big deal. My husband grew up believing in Santa Clause, I didn't. We decided together that we would not pretend Santa was real or that he is the one that brings the presents.

Being horribly sheltered, I don't think Builder Boy had even heard of Santa until last year. I've talked with him, just like I did when his friend told him that the tooth fairy was real; that Santa Clause is a fun story that some parents like to pretend with their kids. I've told him that the kids think it's real but we shouldn't tell them it's not because that would make them sad. So far, as much as I know, he hasn't ruined it for anyone yet.

The boys don't know about flying reindeer or Rudolf or elves or the north pole being Santa's base of operations. We don't have regular TV, so they've not had many occasions to be exposed to it. Their Nana (Daddy's mother) has read Santa, Are You For Real? to Builder Boy, but I don't think it meant much to him last year. What has made an impression is the Veggie Tales video St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving (available on Netflix Instant Streaming.) It tells the story of Saint Nicholas and how he learned about Jesus, and shared with others because Jesus made him happy. Right now, I think that's perfect for where the kids are.

One of the tools I use to teach the boys the story of Jesus' birth is Little People Christmas Story Nativity Scene Playset though any nativity set would do. I like this one because I feel comfortable letting the kids play with it whenever they want, unsupervised. The only problem with the set is that there are no shepherds! You have to buy them separately. And that's silly considering that they were the ones that showed up at the manger, not the wise men. Oh well.
I found the Ultimate List of Nativity Resources at the SPELL Outloud blog. I also really like the DIY Printable Nativity for Kids from the Catholic Icing blog.

I love the "God Gave Us ______" series by Lisa T. Bergren. God Gave Us Christmas and God Gave Us Heaven are perfect for the kids' ages to explain why Jesus had to be born on Earth in the first place. ISBN for God Gave Us Christmas is 978-1-4000-7175-5 and God Gave Us Heaven is 978-1-4000-7446-4. I don't see a DDN in the information, but I'm sure your local librarian could help you find it.


Okay, this post probably looks like I'm trying to sell you a bunch of stuff. But really I wrote this post to share what we use with our kids to make Christmas about more than just presents under the tree for those who are looking for similar resources.

Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate which means that if you click on the pictures or links and buy or place in your cart an item and buy it in 90 days I do get a small percentage. (In the 4 months since I've signed up I've yet to earn the $10 minimum.) But I do not get paid to review products, and I always give my honest opinion.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"I Celebrate the Day"

I grew up in a church that didn't celebrate Christmas; that thought that Christmas was bad and should be avoided as much as possible. When I was 18 I left that church. Not as a rebelion, or a rejection of God, but because my personal study of God's Word did not match up with what that church was teaching. Even so, setting aside practices and attitiudes that I had done my whole life took time and a lot of prayer and Bible study. One of the things I had trouble with was the celebration of Christmas. I no longer thought it was evil and wrong; I believed that the birth of Christ should be celebrated. But I still had trouble assimilating to a tradition that for the most of my life was something I abhorred.

There were two things (besides the Holy Spirit) that helped me accept Christmas. The first is a Warde family tradition. Every Christmas the Warde family makes a birthday cake for Jesus (yes, we know December 25th isn't the actual day He was born.) Each person lights a birthday candle for it and shares something that they are going to "give" to God that year. Fears or worries about something, plans for the future, something to surrender to God's will and to place in His hands.

The other thing that helped me was a song by Reliant K named "I Celebrate the Day." It really spoke to my heart and helped me to let go of my prejudices; to look forward to celebrating Christ's birth.
Here it is on youtube (this is the song played with a picture slide show, not an actual music video by the band.)

Here are the lyrics (emphasis added):

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life 

Now today I celebrate Christmas with my husband's family and with my children. I play Christmas carols (which I love now,) I decorate a tree, and I teach my children what Christmas means to me and our family.

Most of the family on my side still attend that church, still think that Christmas is bad and that I've turned my back on God. I love them and they love me anyway. I don't judge those who think it's wrong. I've been there, I completely understand. I don't think that not celebrating is a rejection of God. (Unless you're rejecting it because you're an Atheist.) I'm just sharing why I changed my mind, and the peace that comes instead of the turmoil every December.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Selecting the "Write" Handwriting Program (Zaner-Bloser Guest Post)

Selecting the “Write” Handwriting Program

There are many things to consider when selecting a handwriting curriculum for your homeschool classroom. Our friends over at The Well-Trained Mind recommend choosing a program that incorporates the continuous-stroke method instead of ball-and-stick. But what is the difference between continuous-stroke and ball-and-stick manuscript handwriting?
Continuous-stroke manuscript handwriting involves fewer pencil lifts than ball-and-stick. For example, with the latter method of printing the manuscript letter b, you touch the headline and pull down straight to the baseline (of lined paper). Then you lift your pencil, touch halfway between the midline and baseline, and circle forward (right) all the way around. With the continuous-stroke method, the b looks just the same, but you form it without pencil lifts through one, continuous stroke. You touch the headline and pull down straight to the baseline. Then you push up to halfway between the midline and baseline and circle forward (right) all the way around.

You may also want to determine whether the program teaches a vertical or slanted manuscript alphabet. Vertical manuscript letterforms place minimal demand on motor memory, allowing students to learn handwriting quickly and to focus on other mechanics such as spelling, grammar, and composing. Considering how complex or simple the program’s strokes and stroke descriptions are, is another factor to consider when picking a handwriting curriculum. Researchers have found that simple, continuous handwriting strokes are easiest for children to learn. Fewer stroke descriptions make handwriting easy to teach, learn, and remember.

Zaner-Bloser is a perfect example of a handwriting program that incorporates all of the above. Their four basic manuscript strokes—vertical, horizontal, circle, and slant lines—are easiest to learn because they simplify motor planning and visual-motor coordination. Zaner-Bloser’s terminology, for example, is developmentally appropriate and easy to understand, consistent from grade level to grade level, and uses only 17 manuscript stroke descriptions to teach all 52 upper- and lowercase letters (compared to as many as 39 in other handwriting programs). Zaner-Bloser’s terminology uses clear, academic language, such as “push up,” “slide right,” and “slant left,” compared to another program’s descriptions for the same three strokes, “up like a helicopter,” “hit the ball,” and “kick.”
Hopefully this assists on your journey selecting the “write” handwriting program. You can find out more information from Zaner-Bloser on how to select a handwriting program.

This is a guest post provided by Zaner-Bloser

Sceleratus Classical Academy is not paid to host guest posts or to review products. I share freely what I think is helpful and give my honest opinions always. The people at Zaner-Bloser were kind enough to address something that confused me when I was reading The Well Trained Mind and trying to choose a handwriting program. I know other people have had this same hiccup, and I hope this helps. -Mrs. Warde

Here is a post about my initial consfusion
Here is a post about the great results Builder Boy has had with ZB handwriting K level

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ack! Possible Bead Up the Nose?!

Yesterday Early Bird came up to me and told me that he put a bead up his nose and that it hurt. He has never said or done anything like that before, so we decided to take him to the ER (the call in advice nurse said to take him there instead of rapid care.) 5 hours later we were sent home because we couldn't get him still enough to take a clear x-ray. They refereed us to a nose an ear specialist. The ER doc told me they would sedate him and go up his nose with tools to try to find it. But when I called the specialists' office the nurse (?) told me that they wouldn't do that at the appointment, they would just try to hold him down (which did NOT work last night trying to get the x-ray) and examine to see if surgery is necessary! How did it get to that?! We're not even sure there is anything up there at all!!

Added later: The specialist says there's only a 20% that there even is a bead. He thinks Early Bird might have an infection. He took a culture, we're going to put him on antibiotics if it's positive, and we're suppose to go back in 10 days.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Letters a la Pinterest

I've been meaning to do this for a while and today we did it! We made letters out of "fuzzy sticks" that I picked up at the dollar store. Here's the pin, from the blog Make and Takes.

Early Bird and I had a lot of fun doing this. We didn't make all the letters. Instead we made the letters for words that he wanted to make: BALL, EGG, ICE CREAM, SUN, SON, and his name. It was really interesting because he wanted to make "SUN" and then asked to make "SON." I asked him what "son" meant and he told me a baby son that a mother holds, like he's my son. Then I asked him what "sun" meant, and he told me the rising sun in the sky. I thought that was cool.

Also, MY SISTER IS HAVING A BABY!!!! I finally get to be an auntie! Which is only fair since all my other siblings have gotten to be aunts and uncles for 6 years now.

So I am making my sister an ABC blanket for the baby. I found patterns for crocheting letters (here's the pin) that are the perfect size for what I want. Only one problem: the instructions are not in English, and some of the patterns are missing the edge of the letters, and not all English letters are there. So I'm improvising. I found another set of letter instructions, also not in English, but I liked how the other ones looked. So far I have completed A-H. The letters take maybe 10 minutes to make.(Added later: ugh, it took over 30 minutes to try to figure out 'K.' I still think it's worth it, though.)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Best Kid Party Drink Ever!

For Builder Boy's birthday party (which we ended up doing on Thanksgiving this year) I made Koolaid ice cubes in the primary colors. Red-Cherry, Yellow-Lemonade, and Blue-Blue Raspberry Lemonade and we added them to Sprite. When the ice cubes melted they changed the color and taste of the drink. This was so cool, and it tasted really good! Everyone liked it a lot. The lemonade ice cubes were not as yellow as I thought they would be, so the orange and green weren't as strong a color as purple, but they still looked neat. Builder Boy wanted vermilion; two reds and one yellow. That cherry-lemonade in lemon-lime soda was my favorite, too. It tasted like a Shirley Temple.

Thank you, Pinterest!

PVC Pipe Building Set

This is something I heard about over eight months ago and I finally got to give this to Builder Boy as his birthday present! It's a bunch of 1/2 in PVC pipe cut into measured lengths and a bunch of different fittings to build contraptions, structures, whatever he wants. Right now he's trying to build super sized, complicated version of the mini marshmallow shooters we made yesterday. Daddy is the only one who has strong enough breath to make it work, but it's pretty cool.
I spent about $50 on this (family members chipped in to pay for it,) but you could probably buy less to start with and then add on later. The 1/2 in pipe was only $1.65/10 feet. I got 110 feet for $18.15. The rest went to a $13 ratchet pipe cutter (which was completely worth it and I wouldn't recommend doing this without one) and the fittings. Three types of the fittings could be about in packages of 10 or 25 for less money per piece than you would pay for each one individually. But some of the other fittings had to be bought individually; some for $0.36/each, some for $0.80 each.

Here's how I cut the pipes:

5 ft / 5 ft
5 ft  / 5 ft
4 ft / 4 ft / 2 ft
4 ft / 4 ft / 2 ft
3 ft / 3 ft / 3 ft / 1ft
3 ft / 3 ft / 3 ft / 1ft
2 ft / 2 ft / 2 ft/ 2 ft / 2 ft
2 ft / 2 ft / 2 ft / 2 ft / 2 ft
1 ft X 10

That gave us (4) 5 ft long pipes, (4) 4 ft long pipes, (6) 3 ft long pipes, (12) 2 ft long pipes, and (12) 1 ft long pipes. I left 2 pipes uncut to see what he would need after he started building. He ended up using the short pieces from the mini marshmallow shooters, so I'll cut one of the leftover pipes into 3 in and 6 in pieces.

I got 2 plastic shoe-boxes at the dollar store to keep the fittings in and I got a tall plastic garbage can to hold the pipes in.

Builder Boy loved this present immediately, and it's all he's played with since he got it yesterday. As soon as spring comes this will become an outside toy. But until then it's a way to bribe him to clean up all his other toys so that he has room to make his structures.

Added later: here is a video of a double mini marshmallow shooter that Builder Boy built, powered by Daddy.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mini Marshmallow Shooter

We had to cancel Builder Boy's birthday party this weekend due to his cold. It was just a few days before Thanksgiving so we decided to do his birthday activities then. One of the things I had planned was a cool mini marshmallow blow gun for the guests to put together and have fun with. I got the idea from Pinterest (here's the pin.) It was originally posted on the Filth Wizardry blog. (Check out her neat blog!)

What you need (for each kit)

1/2 in PVC pipe in 3 in, 4 in, and 5 in lenghts
an extender fitting for a mouth piece
a T-junction
an end cap

a bag of mini marshmallows
stickers for personalization

Filth Wizardry has an instruction sheet you can print out that also include rules of engagement. She also included cheap swimming eye goggles and a paper plate shield for extra safety.

Party Favor Kit
I got the pipe for $1.65/10 feet. Each "gun" needs only 1 foot, so it cost $0.17/blow gun. The T junction I bought in at about $0.20 for each piece and the extender in a bag for about $0.15 a piece. The end cap was around $0.30. Walmart had bags of mini marshmallows for $1.00, and I got the stickers at the dollar store. So the whole things cost about $1/kit.

We purchased a ratcheting pvc pipe cutter and it was definitely worth the $12. I also purchased a bunch of pipe for Builder Boy's building kit birthday present, so we needed it for that, too. I've been researching this project for about 8 months now. Everyone who wrote about it said that trying to cut it with a saw was an awful experience that left a jagged edge. The pipe cutter was easy and smooth, and it took us less than 6 minutes to measure and cut all the pieces for 10 kits.

I put the pieces in the dishwasher and sterilized them since we were going to put our mouths on them.

Target Board
I made a target out of poster board, and sorted colored marshmallows so that teams could keep score if they wanted to. I taped plastic bags behind the holes for easier cleaning. Also, Early Bird had a lot of fun making the ammunition "disappear."

This was so much fun! Our family had a blast with these! We were cracking up and having a wonderful time. The adults started aiming at each others' mouths which was really funny. Luckily, all the adults were wearing glasses. I think this just became a new family Thanksgiving tradition.

Target Practice at Nana and Apa's House
Sniper Daddy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Pinterest Breakfast

I have found a few recipes on Pinterest that I have made several times now. We have to drive Principal Daddy to work some days, so that means getting up the kids who are used to waking up on their own and getting them out the door. Having these muffin tin recipes means I can make ahead something they can eat in the car, which is great.

Baked Oatmeal (link is for the pin):
I tried two recipes and this is the one we like better. Originally from

Serves 18
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly mist 18 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  1. Combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, mashed banana, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until blended together. Mix in chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon the oatmeal mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
I used blueberries in our last 3 batches and the kids love it. I have a small stove so I can make all of them at a time using silicon baking muffin cups. The hearts were on sale after Valentine's Day, and the kids love them. The cups also make it possible to make other breakfast items at the same time (although there are different baking times so some have to get taken out before others.)

Pancake Muffins:
I love this; it is so easy. All you do is mix 1 cup pancake mix, 2/3 cup water, and 1/2 cup pancake syrup. Mix it all together, top with chocolate chips, blueberries, etc. and bake for 12-14 minutes at 350* So much easier than standing at the stove frying pancakes and less mess because there's no sticky syrup! I've also made an applesauce and cinnamon version.

Bacon Wrapped Egg:
Another winner in our family! Originally from the blog Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. The recipe from the blog is:
First Attempt, both scrambled and whole eggs

Makes 12 cups
12 slices bacon
8 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whip the eggs, salt, pepper and cheese with a fork. Spray non stick spray in 12 muffin tins. Wrap each piece of bacon inside the sides of each muffin cup. Fill each bacon lined muffin cup 3/4 of the way with the egg mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the egg cups are golden brown and don’t jiggle. Use a knife to scoop them out of the tins. Serve immediately.

I do it a little differently. When the egg is scrambled/whipped and then cooked it puffs up and we don't like the texture. So I just crack an egg an egg into the muffin cup and it comes out more like a fried egg. We also use turkey bacon.

Bon App├ętit!

Phone Number Bracelet

This week is Pinterest Week! Aside from reading & grammar, all learning activities will come from Pinterest. I have a Sceleratus Classical Academy board with links to different posts on this blog, a Learning Ideas board, and a board of Pinterest Things I've Tried. Several of the pins on the Things I've Tried board have comments and stared reviews by me. The ones without star reviews have not been edited by me yet.

One of the first things I did the week was to make
a bracelet/wristband with our cell phone number on it for the boys in case they get lost or something happens. I searched around locally and no craft stores had numbered beads. They had lettered beads, but no numbers. So I decided to put numbers on dollar store beads myself. If I could find my sharpies I would have used those. But I couldn't, so I used black acrylic paint and a toothpick. Here's the original pin and the blog post it came from.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Math Extras

Builder Boy loves math. We are using Right Start Mathematics and that's the subject he asks to do first every day (but we don't do it until after language arts.) There is so much hands on fun that it's perfect for him. But there are three things that I have added to it that I thought I'd share.

Copies and Reflections with building blocks

Right Start Level A introduced the idea of making copies and refection of tile patterns.

Builder Boy really liked that so I though we would try making it more three dimensional and we started doing it with building blocks. We make sure ahead of time that we have the same types of blocks, and then we take turns coming up with structures and having the other copy it or make a refection of it (with a well defined line of reflection.) It amazes me the things Builder Boy comes up with, and it's a lot of fun trying to make "tricky" ones for him to try. And it's a great mental exercise.

Collection Sticker Book from the dollar store
This was a gift from a friend for Builder Boy's birthday last year (she got him the Cars 2 movie one.) Buying all those packs of stickers at a dollar a piece adds up, but I use them as prizes/rewards over time. They have the numbers 1-197 and it's really good practice for him to have to find the number, look at the numbers on the page in front of him, and determine if he needs to go "lower" in the book or "higher" in the book. We do the stickers out of order so he has to do a lot of searching. To help him with the number I have him put the number of the sticker on the abacus (and the ones over 100 with the number tiles) so he can tell better if it's 46 or 64.

Skip-bo Junior
Not to sound like an add for this, but this game is great. My grandparents got it for Builder Boy a year ago and it's his favorite card game. It practices putting numbers 1-10 in order, but in a fun way that doesn't get boring. It also has wild cards which makes kids have to think differently. We love it. I had never heard of it before they got it for him, so I thought I'd share.

Homeschooling as a Decorating Choice, Part 2

The blue stickers are the glow ones.
As one of Builder Boy's birthday presents we got him RoomMates Glow in the Dark Peel & Stick Wall Decals (same brand as our other wall stickers.) He already had planets and rocket-ships; now he has over 200 stars all over his room. I let him put most of them wherever he wanted them, but I did save some of the round stickers and made six "real" constellations on the back of the door. (But they don't show up on a picture taken with my camera.) We haven't studied astronomy yet, but if he'll get used to seeing some of the patterns in the stars and start thinking about them that way.

I used the constellation guide from and picked out five. I also found a neat blog about stargazing with your kids and they have some cool printables available.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lifetime in Seasons

Days in a year is a big number, and could be overwhelming. But I put Builder Boy's years in terms of seasons, which is something that he could relate to better. The seasons have been turning, changing noticeably lately, so he's able to connect to it. I found some black and white season symbols at I printed out a set for every year, we colored them and taped them together to make a strip.

How many days have I lived?

As part of our activities exploring what a birthday we talked about how a day is one turn of the earth and a year is one whole orbit of the earth around the sun. I played the sun and Builder Boy spun around while I guided him in an orbit around me six times.  365 is a big number to comprehend, so I made pages of 365 (or 366 for leap years) squares on a page; one page for each year, to show how many days he has been alive.

I don't know how to share documents on the blog, so I turned them into jpgs to share. You can copy and paste to make your own.

(Link to a list of leap years.)

365 Squares

366 Squares (Leap Year)

What Does a Birthday Mean? (Growing Song)

Builder Boy's birthday is this week! I had a brain-spurt a while back and wrote down some ideas for what I want to do. We have our family parties on the weekends, but I try to make the kid's actual birthday day special, too. I came up with some ideas to make it different from any other day, and to give the kids an idea of what a birthday actually is.

It all started with a song parody that popped in my head (and got me planning when I was suppose to be cleaning.) This will also be good for when we study the human body and learning about growing and changing.

To the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you're growing and you know it stretch up high,
If you're growing and you know it stretch up high,
 If you're growing and you know it then your height will surly show it,
If you're growing and you know it stretch up high.

If you're growing and you know it bend down low,
If you're growing and you know it bend down low,
 If you're growing and you know it then your weight will surly show it,
If you're growing and you know it bend down low.

If you're growing and you know it stick out your foot,
If you're growing and you know it stick out your foot,
 If you're growing and you know it then your size will surly show it,
If you're growing and you know it stick out your foot.

Birthday Morning Surprise

Happy Birthday, Builder Boy!!!!!

I got the idea off Pinterest to make a balloon curtain for when Builder Boy woke up :) He loved it.

(I would recommend using regular-sized balloons if you have them. I thought I did, but I couldn't find them, so I had to use little balloons instead. Luckily I had a balloon pump.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Birthday Prep!

Planning, prepping, and getting ready for Builder Boy's 6th birthday!!! So many cool birthday learning activities planned, check back tomorrow!

(My scanner won't work, so I can't post his baby picture.) Here's one of my favorite all time pictures of Builder Boy, taken a few months before he turned 3.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Literal Mind vs. An Imaginative Mind

Builder Boy and Early Bird are so different sometimes it seems like they are complete opposites. It's amazing the variety and diversity that can happen from the same genes. Builder Boy has blue eyes and for the first 4 years of his life his hair was blond. Early Bird has dark chocolate brown eyes and dark brown hair. Builder Boy is a kinetic learner. He likes physical things. He builds complex structures, loves math, and enjoys watching real life videos learning about construction or vehicles. Early Bird is an auditory/visual learner. He loves music and songs, and has a great memory for them. He like stories, talks with his stuffed animals, and talks through them. They play in totally different ways. And this is causing a conflict.

When Builder Boy "imagines" things, it's always something that is from the real world, and usually with his blocks. He'll organized a factory (he loves How It's Made) or contraptions. He's not pretending he's the factory, he's not pretending he's a factory worker. He's just running it, making it "work" and imagining that. When Early Bird imagines things, he's a different person (like a pirate or the gingerbread man,) he's an animal, or he's talking to a stuffed animal and they "talk" back to him. These are all things that Builder Boy never did at that age, and still doesn't do on his own (although he has pretended to be Bob the Builder.)

A few weeks ago they fought over Early Bird's imaginary piggies. Early Bird was imagining some piggies to play with. He had them sitting on a blanket with him, he was talking to them and petting them, picking them up and hugging them, all of it. Builder Boy came over to "play" with the piggies, too, and Early Bird freaked out. I told Builder Boy to imagine his own piggies. That he could imagine as many piggies as he wanted. But nooooo, he kept trying to "steal" and pick up Early Bird's piggies. Really.

Today they fought over whether or not Early Bird could pretend he was a mouse. Early Bird was just sitting, holding a play slice of cheese, and squeaking and saying "I'm a mouse!" Builder Boy started insisting that he was a person, not a mouse. That it was wrong to pretend to be a mouse. Where does that come from?! Oil and water, those two. Yet separate them to keep them from fighting and they either fight from a distance or get upset that they aren't allowed to be together. Brothers.

It is so interesting to see how differently their minds work, how different their personalities and learning styles are. It's a challenge, and keeps me from getting static, forcing me to think of approaching things in different ways. I just need to find a way to get them to relate to each other better. At least I know that they love each other very much.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Supplementing FLL1, Lessons 31-40

A continuation of what we're adding to lessons from First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1. (Click here for my post about the previous ten lessons.)

Common noun or proper noun review
   Just like the cards I made for the first 10 lessons, I made more index cards with common nouns and proper nouns to sort. This time I used places, geographic features, animals and pets, and things.

Calendar Printables (Lesson 34)
   We use the printable calendars available at The days are blank so you can use them for any year.

Days of the Week Poem (Lesson 35)
  To help Builder Boy remember the peoms we use signs along with saying them. This time we learned the official signs for the days of the week. Each day (except for Sunday) is the letter of the name of the day, waved in a circle. The blue-green links are to the video demonstrating them on the free site 

Days of the Week
Mother Goose rhyme, adapted by Sara Buffington

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace;


Wednesday's child is ever so sweet,
Thursday's child is tidy and neat;


Friday's child is prone to a giggle,
Saturday's child is easy to tickle;


But the child that is born on restful Sunday
Is happy and cheerful, and loves to play.


The days of the week signs were easy to learn because we already knew the letter signs. We learned them from Signing Time's 5th dvd ABC Signs. (The link is to the company's website, the picture is a link to the listing.)

Days of the Week Cards (Lesson 38)
  I wrote the days of the week on index cards and Builder Boy puts them in order. The second part was his idea.

The lessons and the poem we got from FLL1. The original link is to the author's printing press website, the picture is a link to the Amazon listing. I came up with the extra activities on my own. I don't get paid for my reviews.

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