Forty Something Parents

The Ins & Outs of Parenting


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Zen Learning: When Your Home Schooler Refuses to Write

I guess I must’ve lucked-out when it came to my daughter learning to read, because it seems to have come so easily for her… and for me, as her mom/teacher.  But when it boils down to learning how to write her words, she has refused most of the time.  My solution to this problem?  I take it easy on her, and don’t dare try and force it.

Instead, I assess her mood in the morning…then decide what we’ll do to fit some learning into our day.  When it comes to writing, though…I have to be somewhat sneaky with how I present a lesson.  Most of the time, we work out of work books; I like Bendon Work Books the best.  However…this past week, I hit a creative writing break-through.  I was jumping for joy!

Last week I had tried encouraging my daughter to write a letter to her Grandma, and for the most part…she did.  Though I had to write a few words for her to copy; so I couldn’t consider that a complete success.  I didn’t mention it to my little’one, and tried not to let it bother me.

But, yesterday…after she finished her usual practice of writing her full name –which we do everyday…since her last name is posing a challenge for her– I nonchalantly handed her a piece of manila writing paper from her tablet, gave her one of her brand new sparkly pencils with ‘creative creature’ eraser, and introduced the fun of writing words she spies (Word ‘I Spy’!) throughout her room.  And, Lo’ and behold…it worked!  She was quietly and calmly writing for the better part of an hour.  I was beside myself with joy, so I snapped a few pics.  How could I resist?!  She was so into her work, she didn’t even notice me there at first.  Either way, I realized we hit a milestone in my Nixi’s introduction to creative writing.

And for those of you who have faced similar learning curves with your child — whether home schooled or not — I hope this helps in some way, for you and your child/children to move forward with a more zen approach to knowledge and learning.  Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to figure out what works…and what doesn’t.

*Happy Learning Leads to a Lifetime of Knowledge*  *Feed the Relaxed Mind*

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Homeschool Science Project: Treasure Maps and Invisible Ink

Home School Science Project — Creating a Treasure Map With Lemon Juice?!  Here’s how we did it, our source, and items needed.  I hope you and your home school kids (or traditionally schooled kids) enjoy doing this project as much as we did.  :  )

How We Did It–

*My daughter Nixi and I made our maps according to instructions in the book **(see instructions at bottom of this post), then we gathered up some odds and ends…sparkly treasure, bundled it up in a paper towel, and buried it out in our yard where ‘X’ marks the spot on our maps.  I spray painted an X where we buried our treasure, and when my husband (Daddy) got home from work, he and Nixi hunted the treasure.

It was quite a kick, and I would definitely recommend this learning adventure to everyone who has kids or grand-kids; even nieces or nephews.  Heck..! Gather up the neighborhood kids and make a party out of it. The more the merrier!  :  )

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We Checked Out This Great Book From Our Local Library

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Invisible Ink Science Experiment

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Recipe and Items Needed

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Items Needed & Treasure to Bury

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Nixi’s Map

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Mom’s Map

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We Spiced Things Up a Bit by Making One Map a ‘Trick Map’!

**INSTRUCTIONS–

You’ll need:

-Paper (We used Resume Stock Paper)

-Lemon Juice, Cotton ‘Swab’ (Get it…?!  Swab!  hahaha)

-Treasure to Bury

-Spray Paint or Crafty ‘X’ to Mark the Spot

-Oven…heated to 400 degrees

Juice your lemon, then dip your cotton swab in the lemon juice, then ‘paint’ your map.  Steady as she goes, since the ink disappears rather quickly.  Place your map onto a cookie sheet and place in a 400 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Careful when you take it out, it’ll be hot!  Gather your treasure, bury it, mark the spot with an X, and let your littlest Pirates (or the bigger scally-wags) hunt for the treasure.  Fun all around!


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Home School Science Experiments

Making BLUE GOO —


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Home School ‘Class Pets’

The other day…during outside playtime, my daughter Nixi and I discovered a baby snail stranded in the middle of our sandbox lid.  It must’ve felt like no ‘mans’ land to the little critter– I’m sure he was almost bird feed.

It was a very daring snail rescue!  –Nixi and I swooped-up our new class pet, created his habitat-in-a-jar, and named him Inch.  –Though we’re calling him a ‘he’, we really don’t know for sure.  Snails are difficult that way.  :  )

All in all…It was a fun day of learning to be kind to creatures more vulnerable than ourselves.  Nixi and I came inside and examined Inch with our magnifying glass, while referencing her book about shells; which identifies the parts of creatures living in shells…including snails.

I thought it might be fun to share our little adventure in nature, with you-all out there in this great big world of wonder.  Whether you home school your child (children), or your child (children) go the more traditional route, I hope our little snail, Inch, will inspire you to scout for your own class pet.

*Discover a universe of nature in your own yard.  The world is an adventure….waiting to happen!  –Free for all to enjoy!*

 

 


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HomeSchooling Activities — Vision Board Workshop

Earlier this year, I attended my first ever vision-board workshop here on the island…at an art studio down in the Strand District.  I so thoroughly enjoyed meeting the nice ladies there, sharing our visions about the life we hoped to inspire through art…the lives I-for-one, hoped to find.

My visionboard still hangs on my wall, where I can see it every morning when I wake up.  To look at it gives me insight into my desires as a woman, as a mom, as a wife.  Some months later, entering my first ‘official’ year as a homeschooling mom, my vision board has also inspired to create one with my five-year-old.

Sitting down at our dining table–the desk we use for studies, art, and games–I provided my daughter with foam pads (the size of a sheet of paper) of her color-choice, her Fiskars, Elmer’s Glue, and several family and travel magazines.  Guiding her through the process at first, I smoothly backed off and let her take charge of her own visionboard creation.

As I looked-on, I watched the secrets of her little mind spill-out onto her blue foam boards (she chose to do two boards instead of one), and I was delighted to be invited into my child’s mind…her thoughts, choices,  and dreams.

In the end, when the glue had dried and we had shown Daddy when he arrived home that evening, I felt like I knew my little one much better than I had when we woke up that morning.  I felt I had discovered a hidden door into my daughter’s mind.  It was a win-win for me as a homeschooling mom, grasping at new and productive ways of ‘teaching’ without really teaching.

Vision boards with your homeschoolers?  It will remain a fun activity for me and my homeschooler for years-to-come.  Try it with your child.  You’ll be so happy with your discoveries…and wonderful memories made together.

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Photographic Memories of One Mamma-razzi Mom

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