fun · homeschooling · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · kids · learning · parenting

Homeschool Convention

I am going to the Texas Homeschool Convention with my sweet sister-in -law.  I have not gone to one in a couple of years, but this convention has a lineup of seminars that interest me…they are practical and informative.  I am especially interested in the seminars on high school transcripts/portfolios/scholarship applications.  I am also looking forward to introducing my SIL to the wonderful world of homeschool books and curriculum.  She and my brother are planning to homeschool their children.  Emmelia, their daughter, is my godchild. They are expecting baby number two, and I am super excited! 

homeschooling · kids · learning · math

Math Facts Boot Camp

The strategies I learned as an assistant in a math rehabilitation classroom in an alternative school years ago are strategies that I use to this day.
I believe wholeheartedly in learning the basic math facts.  I believe in drill!  Drill for the skill!
My third grade student is in my math boot camp this year.  If all we accomplish this year is learning the basic math facts and learning them with speed and confidence, I am very confident that this foundation will ensure success for future abstract skills.  
If your student is struggling with math, if they falsely believe that they are “bad” at math, it could be that math facts drill is just what they need to regain a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Below is a list of where to start…this is how I progress through the basic facts of addition and subtraction.  In a later post I will share some great tricks to learn the multiplication and division facts quickly and with a bit of fun!  
  •  doubles ( 1+1, 2+ 2, 3 + 3, 4+ 4, 5 + 5, 6 + 6, 7 + 7, 8 + 8, 9 + 9)
  • doubles plus 1: Child uses what they know about doubles and adds 1… sounds like 8 + 9 is the same as 8 + 8 +1 which is 9
  • doubles minus 1: Child uses what they know about doubles and subtracts 1…sounds like 8 + 7 is the same as 8 + 8 -1
  • number plus 1 or plus two ( 5 + 1, 4 + 2)
  • number plus or minus zero (5 + 0, 6 + 0)
  • commutative property (3 + 2 = 2 + 3) 
  • ten combinations ( 5 + 5, 6 + 4, 7 + 3, 8 + 2, 9 + 1)
  • ten plus a number (10 + 4, 10 + 7)
Subtraction
One great way to teach mastery in subtraction is to teach it in relation to addition.  For example, once the student knows (or maybe you are using this method to teach addition as well) that 8+2=10 you can easily introduce fact families.  You might say, “We will use these same numbers (10, 8, and 2) to memorize 10-8 and 10-2. 10, 8, and 2 are a fact family…and they stick together.  10-8…who is missing?  Well, it’s two of course!  10-8 is 2!”  
Most fact families of 3 make 4 facts. Example:
  
8+2=10
2+8=10
10-2=8
10-8=2
0’s can be tricky. Example:
7+0=7
0+7=7
7-0=7
7-7=0
Doubles make 2. Example:
2+2=4
4-2=2
A creative way to make your own set of fact family flash cards is to pick up the paint sample cards at a home improvement store that have four colors.  Write each fact from the fact family on the 4 different colors.  If you were to make all the fact families from 1 to 18 in this way that would mean you would need about 100 paint samples.
Fact family paint sample flash cards can also be used for multiplication and division facts.
No time spent learning these basic skills is ever wasted.  It can be fun, and it definitely improves a child’s attitude when they know their stuff! 
Here are  a few helpful resources I have found.
    
books · homeschooling · kids · learning · play · winter

January Preschool

Make coffee filter snowflakes.
Learn the snowflake song by Jean Warren.
Cotton-Ball counting.
Have a tea party and serve Blueberry muffins and Ceylon tea.
Make bird feeder pine cones.
Learn the Seven Continents song.
Make a paper patch quilt and practice shape recognition.
Learn the meanings of the words: greedy and generosity.


Cut and glue vegetables from magazines onto a cut out soup pot.  
Practice the names of vegetables.  
Help make a pot of soup with mommy.  
Play which onion is bigger.  
Practice setting the table properly.
Field Trip Ideas: Ice Skating, Quilt Shop, Kitchen Store
.




cleaning · cooking · faith · family · homeschooling · kids · learning · marriage · nutrition · organizing · projects

Daily Docket

Special Day– Birthday, Name day, Feast day, Holiday, Saint.
Pace- What speed do I have to go today?  Do I really need to be running like a hare, or can I take it slow like a turtle?  Knowing the pace of the day is good for me.
Priorities- What are the top 5 things I have to get done today?  Did Slade ask me to do something for him?  Do we have appointments?  Do I need to pay a bill or make a phone call?
Parenting- A mommy focus for the day.  A special lunch for Elinor.  A walk with Sophia. Be patient and speak softly today.  Play airplane with Sam.  Talk with Addy late tonight.  Practice piano with Caroline.
Partner- Something sweet, something small, something kind, something for Slade.
The Plan- A skeleton for the day…when I will do what’s on the docket.
Daily Readings- One sentence that captures something inspirational from my readings.
Prayers- Just a reminder, a little circle to remind me to make prayer a priority.
Pantry to Pot- Start dinner at breakfast.  Make meal times intentional and nutritious.
Project- If I have time what is one project I can tackle today?
Professor- What are the school goals for today?
  Water- Remember to stay hydrated.

cleaning · cooking · family · fun · homeschooling · kids · motherhood · organizing

Christmas Gifts for a Homeschool Mom


The average “gifts for mom” list is not necessarily a good fit for a homeschool mom.  Don’t get me wrong…I love perfume and scarves and expensive handbags just like the average girl, but if you really want the wow factor for this homeschool mom of five I have a better list.  Maybe you can forward this post to your hubby or whoever is asking you that pressing question, “What do you want for Christmas?”  I hope this list will inspire you to answer with every bit of the quirkiness that defines a homeschool mom.  

Just a bit fun…happy shopping everyone.


My large crock pot has a hairline crack in the removable porcelain crock.  I am afraid to do too much in it, and I am for sure not transporting it anywhere.  Crock pots are a homeschool mom’s best friend in the kitchen.  We can start dinner at breakfast and as the house is permeated with the smell of lemony chicken it is so reassuring to know supper is on. 

My coffee pot is trying to peter out on me…and that just cannot happen.  I currently have to jiggle the cord to get the green power light to appear.  I wait every morning in suspense…it’s just too stressful.

This is such a great gift for a homeschool mom.  This tote can be used for picnics, as a library tote, camping, day trips, etc.  One use I would like it for is to stock my car with a mommy survival kit.

I already have this gift, but I had to include it.  Free Shipping for books!  Are you kidding…this is a homeschool mom’s dream!    

This gift is over the top.  The one I want is a little pricey, but oh so cool.  I would love it to make dry erase activities for my littles, flashcards specific to the things we are learning, saving works of art…the possibilities are endless.  

What a tongue twister…but never mind that.  This little beauty makes the homeschool day to day much easier.  The copier is a godsend. 

This is so dreamy…now I can spend my summer making the kind of workbooks we love…suited just for us.  I would trill with delight if I opened this gift.

And for the stocking… 

I love the feel, the smell, and the size of the Moleskine notebooks.  It is very inspirational to write in something of this quality.  Keeping a daily journal is a great way that homeschool moms can unwind and reflect.  

 Free Time Coupons 
This could come in the form of a coupon booklet if you would like something to unwrap.  It’s easy to make them on the computer or just make them with colored pencils and crayons.  12 would be perfect…12 Free Time coupons that I can spend…like say once a month.  It is nice to have time alone sometimes.  

Yes…I said Sharpies.  I love to have those around, but I am always too cheap to buy them for myself.  I want a big set…just love office supplies.




  
Christmas · cooking · family · food · fun · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · kids · Nativity · parenting

A Country Christmas

We celebrated the Butler Christmas at a ranch in Abilene. My sister-in-law’s family invited us for a weekend in the country, and it was perfect.  I cannot remember when I have had a better time.  It was relaxing and hearty…good for the soul and senses.  Country folk really do have the most fun…especially if those country folk are from Texas!

Simple gifts…nothing extravagant.

Rustic ambiance. 
A warm and cozy bunkhouse.  My oldest brother Josh said, “This feels like church camp.”

We gather in the kitchen.  Lots of great conversation.
Tamales and our parents!  Two of my favorite things.
Lots of cooking.

More cooking.

A porch swing.

Cheese and wine.
The best food.  Featuring a prime rib with horseradish sauce and au jus. 

Outdoor fun!  We also took a Christmas carol hayride underneath the Abilene starlit sky.

Four wheelin’ on trails.  Throwing rocks in the pond.  Looking for wildlife.  Kickin’up dirt! 

A large covered porch for outdoor fun.

A spirited game of spoons!

Cousins are the best!

Amma brought a bag of Christmas books to read to the grands!

 Christmas dishes with red solo cups…what’s more country than that?  

 The girls made blankets together!

The smiles come easy.
The dogs are in heaven.
family · fun · kids · play · seasons

Birthday Season

August- Samuel- Age 1
Blue icing cupcakes and a simple evening with just us.  Birthdays at this age are always spent at home with good food and cake!

November- Sophia- Age 9
Strawberry cake and a sleepover.  Sophia got a a real bow, and she loved it.
December- Caroline- Age 13
Chocolate cake and a dance party.  30+ of her friends and family cut a rug in our shop.  Bonfire and Nacho bar.  It was a big one for the new teenager in the house.  See was gifted a harp from her Amma and Pa Glen.  
Birthday season at the Sexton House.
books · faith · family · kids · learning · Nativity · Orthodoxy · parenting · seasons · winter

A Few Nativity Pictures

A collection of Christmas books.

Wrapped up to be a sweet surprise for the evenings of December as we prepare for Jesus to be born.

Our Jesse tree.  We have since abandoned the hanging of the ornaments.  Brother Bear seems to have decided that all paper products should be torn to shreds.  We are reading, praying, and lighting a candle.  However, I often find myself praying this prayer, “Lord please accept this very imperfect prayer.”  Evening prayers are interesting with a toddler and baby.  The interruptions and noise make me feel like we are just scraping by sometimes.  But, we keep practicing.  Glory to God for all things.

family · fun · kids · play

A Birthday Bow

Sophia always gets two birthday parties.  One at home and one at Amma and Pa Glen’s house the day after Thanksgiving.  She had a great time learning to shoot her new bow from Pa Glen.  Her ninth birthday was special…growing up way too fast! We are impressed with Sophia’s ability to hit the bullseye.