Kindergarten Enrichment

This is from and email that I sent to a family who wants to enrich their child’s experience but do not want to homeschool.
Our family is going on it’s 5th year of homeschooling–I can’t believe it.  There are tons of things on the internet that have homeschooling/enrichment curriculum–the thing is to know the words to look for.  Charlotte Mason, unschooling, traditional school at home . . . I would suggest you find what “style” you like and then search on that.
In our home I use Catholic Heritage Curriculum http://chcweb.com for my almost 9 year old.  She needs the structure and has been in school until this year–so her mind has been trained to learn in a very book-y way.  She has a schedule and I just printed out workbox picture cards to help her manage her time and her day. http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com/search/label/workboxes   I bought the 3rd grade lesson plan for her and the books that go with it.  She learns at grade level.
For my 7 year old I use a mix–she is so smart she picks up what the 9 year old is doing so she is really learning tons of 3rd grade stuff in 1st grade.  She reads at about a 4th grade level–but most books are not appropriate for a almost 7 year old.  She does have “the core” from Catholic Heritiage as well but if she doesn’t do it–I don’t really stress about it.
For my 5 year old–is home and loves Reading eggs.  This a computer based reading program that is not just phonics.  I like an approach that explains the “rule breakers”.  He started with Headsprout reading and didn’t like it.
So my suggestions are:
  1. check out headsprout for reading–they have a great program for kids who are just beginning AND already reading. http://www.mimio.com/headsprout/index.html
  2. Reading Eggs is similar to HS and has an advanced programhttp://readingeggs.com/
  3. Life of Fred for Math–it is awesome–the 7 and 5 year old love it http://lifeoffredmath.com/
  4. Five in a Row–this is a great way to follow your child’s lead as you read classic books.  You get the books from the library and the Five in a Row book guides you in teaching different subjects–I borrowed a book over the summer and had a great time with it.  We did the Madeline series–once you get the idea of how it works you could do it yourself or just buy more in the series. http://fiarhq.com/fiveinarow.info/index.html
  5. I suggest this website http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/  if you click on blog hops–it will give you tons of ideas on what to teach.  I have linked up my blog to this website.  It is a great resource to find just about anything about homeschooling.
  6. I also suggest Simple Mom http://simplemom.net/  they have a section “simple homeschool” and I find lots of info there and it is fun to read what other moms are doing.
Be Blessed.

Christmas 2012

This year I am giving the kids coupons as Christmas gifts.  I might have time between now and then to make them personalized and printed off but if I don’t I have found these sites to be my back up plan!

http://beautyandbedlam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/christmas-coupon-book-final.pdf

I also found this site that is so full of ideas!  I need to spend some serious time looking over all of the ideas.

I have been writing a 31 days of honesty series on my joyful living website and “stuff” has been a topic that keeps coming up . . . I’m hoping to simplify this Christmas.

Be Blessed.

October Adoration Meditation

I am blessed.  When I handed my life over to God and told him that I would do his will and serve him–no matter what . . . joyfully . . . I had no idea that I would be given the opportunity to write for kids about God.  I really thought it was just changing diapers and breakfast, lunch, dinner . . . but God has so much more for us.

This month I was given the opportunity to write about St. Therese.  Her feast day is October 1.  If I had it to write over I would have added that God does small things for us each day–I missed that the first time around but I’ll make sure I get the word out to as many kids as I meet on Monday.

Children’s Adoration Meditation

October 12, 2012

Child-like Faith in God

When you were three years old what did you want to be?  Well, about 130 years ago there was a three year old girl who dreamed of becoming a nun.  Her name was Therese. This little girl lived a very simple life and she devoted it to God. Therese did not give up on her dream to become a nun–at 16 she became a Carmelite nun and she took the name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus.  Her very name reflects her faithful child-like devotion.

Sister Therese had a favorite bible verse Matthew 18:3: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Her goal in life was to remain as a child in the eyes of God.  She wanted to mature, grow in wisdom, and learn new things but she wanted to “keep it simple”.  Child-like is NOT childish silliness.

Sister Therese’s realized that God did not have a big huge plan for her life–God wanted her to do each and everything in “the little way”.  God wanted her to do her best at every little thing.  God wants us to follow “the little way,” too!

Easy?  To do everything with love.  To do our best each and every day. Let’s try it.

Make a list either on paper or in your mind of all the ways that have done your best today.  Just for one-day think about everything you do . . . here are some things for you to think about how you can make some “little changes” . . .

  • are we keeping it simple?
  • are we trying to do your best on your homework?
  • are we feeding the dog, cat, bird, fish in a way that would please God?
  • are our words gentle, loving, kind and respectful?
  • do we look at someone and think we are better?
  • do we laugh at others?
  • do we look away rather than being helpful?
  • do we pray throughout the day?  without someone telling us . . .
  • do we have an honest desire to be with Jesus?
  • are we simple in our wants/needs–do we really need the latest toy or the fanciest clothes?
  • are we respectful to our parents, teachers, friends?
  • do we tackle our chores without complaining or arguing?
  • do we show gratitude for our blessings?
  • do we show God our faithfulness?  how do we show Him we really believe in His plan for our life?

God wants each and everyone of us to “be our own best, in our own little way”.  God wants us to have our own child-like faith.

If you aren’t sure what your own “little way” is–then ask–God will show you.

Scribe Tribe Week 1

Scribe Tribe is an after school writing group.  I want to instill in the kids the fun of writing “God Stuff”.  Our first week was creating a gratitude journal and then the expectation is that the kids will write 3 things each week that they are grateful for.  I love the idea from Ann @ A Holy Experience.

This week we will talk about St. Theresa–her feast day is Monday, October 1st.  She was a writer so that fits in with our theme.  We will talk about adoration and the meditations–Gretchen O’Connor and I trade-off writing them–I want to emphasize that writing can be important even when you are an adult.  We will be writing prayers this week.

Next week we will talk about St. Francis–his feast day is on Thursday October 4th.  I may do a St. Francis craft.

My intention is to update this joyful learning website with information about Scribe Tribe–I will send out an email reminding the kids to bring journal to class.  I want to offer this curriculum to any parent/teacher that wishes to use it.

Be Blessed.