As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thinking Theme: Easter

* This Easter I really want to focus on Holy Week and each significant event that happened leading up to the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  I want Sawyer to learn what this holiday is truly all about!  I've included 5 specific lessons (will post pics as we go) with scripture references for you to read with your children.  May you have a blessed week remembering the incredible sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all of us and praising God for His gift of love!

Memory Verses:
"But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.'" Matthew 28: 5-6

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live.'" John 11:25

1. Palm Sunday: John 12:12-17 - Palm Leaf Craft from DLTK
* Read the verses about Palm Sunday and print out the palm leaf and "Jesus is My King!" page from DLTK. Cut out the leaf and sentence, and glue them to a piece of construction paper.  Cut out small pieces of green tissue paper or construction paper, and glue them on the leaf. 

2. The Last Supper: Mark 14:12-26 - Communion as a Family
* Read the verses about the last supper.  Explain what communion is to your children and how it is a special way we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross.  Break the bread and pray over it, then eat it.  Then pray over the cup and drink the juice.  Only Michael and I did this because our children are not believers yet, but we wanted to demonstrate to them what the last supper represents to us as Christians.  We explained that one day when they accept Jesus into their hearts, they can participate in this holy communion, as well.  This was such a special, blessed time for us as a family!

3. Prayer in the Garden: Matthew 26:36-45- Prayer Pail from Lu Bird Baby
* Read the verses about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.  Talk about the importance of prayer and how even the Son of God had to pray for guidance and comfort.  Create this prayer pail/jar using any kind of small cup, pot, or pail and popsicle sticks.  On the sticks, write the names of people you can pray for daily, as well as things like your church, your school, and your country.  Each day your child can pick out a popsicle stick and pray for something specific.  This is a great way to pray with your children!

4. The Cross: Mark 15:33-40 - Cross Book from Ministry to Children or Cross Craft from Frills, Fluff, and Trucks
* Read the verses about the cross, and choose one or both of these activities to do.  We did the stained glass cross craft and followed the directions from Frills, Fluff and Trucks but tweaked it a little bit.  Instead of contact paper, I used parchment paper because I already had that on hand.  Also, we just did one layer instead of two.  It still turned out very pretty!  This was a great way to teach Sawyer about how the cross was a very sad thing that Jesus died on but also a beautiful symbol of the sacrifice He made for us!

5. The Empty Tomb: Matthew 28:1-8 - Resurrection Rolls from DLTK
* This is a very precious way to end the week!  Read the verses about the empty tomb, and follow the directions from DLTK in order to bake these special rolls.  I love this "kid-friendly" way of sharing what the resurrection is! 

Where did it go?

Praise the Lord!  He is risen!


* Jelly Bean Prayer/Jelly Bean Prayer

* The Real Easter Bunny

* Happy Home Fairy Easter Ideas

* Playing House in Maryland Easter Egg Games

* 2 Teaching Mommies 12 Days of Easter

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thinking Theme: Basketball

Letter of the Week: Mm (for March Madness :))

Number of the Week: 16

Bible Verse of the Week:  "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14



Lesson 1: Basketball Patterns and Which is Different? from 2 Teaching Mommies
* To understand what the pattern is in a row and continue the set pattern (ABAB and AABB patterns)
* To recognize which picture is different in a row of 4 pictures and explain why it is different
* To use the fine motor skills involved with writing

* Printables from 2 Teaching Mommies
* scissors
* pencil

1. Print out the pages from 2 Teaching Mommies.  Cut out the pattern cards for the pattern game and spread them out.

2. Have your child look at each pattern and figure out which picture comes next in each row.  It is helpful to cover the page so they are only looking at the pattern you are working on.  These pages will work on ABAB and AABB patterns, but you can create your own to make them harder if you wish.

3. On the next printable, have your child figure out which picture is different in each row.  Let them explain to you why the picture is different from the rest.  Ex: It's a different color, turned in a different direction, etc.  Have them circle the picture.

Lesson 2: Basketball File Folder Game from ABC Teach
* To understand what a board game is and learn the rules of the game
* To use pre-addition skills to count/add the dots on 2 dice
* To use one-to-one correspondence in moving the game piece the same number of spaces as on the dice

* Printables from ABC Teach
* scissors
* glue
* dice
* 2 game pieces

1. Print and cut out the board game and glue it to a file folder.  Explain to your child how the game works by demonstrating how to roll the dice, count the number of dots, and move the game piece the correct number of spaces.  Then, start the game.

2.  This is a great way to start working on addition.  Have them count the number of dots on the dice all together.  Then state the number sentence for each roll.  Ex: He rolls a 6 and a 1, counts 7 dots, then you say 6 + 1 = 7.

* Sawyer was the winner!

Lesson 3: Dunk That Ball from 2 Teaching Mommies
* To recognize the specific sounds each letter makes
* To match the letters to their sounds
* To recognize the letter that a word starts with based on the sound

* Printables from 2 Teaching Mommies
* scissors
* basketball goal

1. Cut out each letter ball from the printables, and spread a few out on a table or the floor.

2. Say the sound of a letter and ask your child to find that particular letter.

3. Once they have chosen the correct letter, let them DUNK it in the basketball goal!

4. Continue doing this for each letter.  You can even say a word, emphasizing the sounds, and have them find the letter that the word starts with.  Or, they can spell simple words and dunk the letters all together for that word.

* Tucker loves to dunk, too!

Lesson 4: Basketball Word Builders (like the game of PIG, HORSE)
* To understand that each word is made up of a certain number of letters, each with a specific sound
* To play a game in which you score a basket and get a letter for a part of a word
* To spell words that include basketball terms such as ball, goal, dunk, shoot, score, pass, dribble, etc.
* To use the motor skills involved with playing basketball

* basketball
* basketball goal
* chalkboard/dry erase board or construction paper
* chalk/dry erase marker or regular marker

1. This game is a spin on the traditional "Pig" or "Horse" game.  Choose a word to spell with your child.  Sound out the word with them and say the letters in the word, counting how many there are.

2. Explain that they must score a basket in order to get a letter.  Once they have scored the right amount of baskets, they will have spelled the entire word.  Start playing!

3. Write the letters with your child as they score the baskets.  We used a dry erase board and marker just like the basketball coaches use to draw plays for their players. :)

4. When your child has made enough baskets to spell the entire word, they win!  Sound out the word again, pointing to the letters as you say the sounds.  Continue playing as long as you would like.  You can even compete with each other to see who can spell the word first.

Lesson 5: Basketball Drills (can combine this with Lesson #4)
* To understand the importance of exercise and keeping your body healthy
* To focus on specific basketball skills including passing, dribbling, running, and shooting
* To participate in drills for each skill
* To use the motor skills involved with doing each skill

* basketball
* basketball goal

1.  Have your child participate in sets of drills to focus on different basketball skills.  Demonstrate each skill first and then let your child do them.  We did shooting from different spots, dribbling in place, running and dribbling (which is hard for them at this age), chest passing, overhead passing, bounce passing, and, of course, dunking!

* Play a game of basketball, and keep score to practice addition.

* 2 Teaching Mommies Basketball Unit

* Go to a game!
Sawyer got to go with Daddy to Atlanta to watch the Baylor Bears play in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight!  I know he will remember this forever!