Friday, September 28, 2012

US Presidents Study: Thomas Jefferson

Here is post #2 I mentioned yesterday...

Our 2nd class we studied Thomas Jefferson. Since he was one of the writers/signers of the Declaration of Independence, our activity this week was to make and sign our own Declaration. This was a lot of fun! The kids really enjoyed writing with a quill pen (feather) onto a piece of 'parchment'.

To prep for this class, I made the 'parchment' paper ahead of time, only because I new time would not allow for it in class. It was really neat, and super easy to do. Basically, you get a regular piece of white paper, tear the sides a bit, crumple it, then soak it in cold coffee for about 5 minutes, after you laid it back flat. After its soaked long enough you use a hair dryer  on high to dry it. Make sure to keep it laying flat or it will break apart! It takes about 5 minutes to dry. Your results are an old looking paper!

I also took my kids to the park to hunt for good feathers to use for quill pens. The kids in class really thought it was fun to use the tip of the feather to write with! We used calligraphy pen ink to dip the tip of the feather in. They all did pretty great with it! Some of them even accepted the challenge to memorize a small portion of the Declaration of Independence in 30 minutes. 3 out of 7 succeeded! Kids brains are amazing!

Up next: Andrew Jackson

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschool: Teaching the Presidents

Our family is so very blessed to be a part of a wonderful homeschool co-op, First Class Northwest Houston. The kids absolutely LOVE Friday school! And, so do I!

It is so much fun to be able to come together with a group of other homeschooling families, to be able to support and encourage one another on this journey we have all decided to embark on, each for different reasons.

One of my favorite parts is teaching. I love to teach! In the past I have taught Texas History (10-12 y/o's), Dinosaurs in Creation (5-6 & 7-9 y/o's) and Mighty Math (5-6 y/o's). This semester I chose to teach US Presidents to the 10-12 y/o's because my 11 y/o son has shown an interest in the president's. Most likely because of the upcoming election. It has been great fun so far!

I thought it would be worthwhile to share here our US President Unit we are doing in class. The co-op runs for 9 weeks. Which isn't very long, especially when you have 44 president's to cover! So, I picked nine president's to focus on, one each week. Our 3rd Friday is tomorrow. I'm going to post about our 1st class now, then I'll have a separate post for our 2nd class, and will do our 3rd class next week. I hope to keep up with this every week. I have found lots of great resources while preparing, and I have been learning so much right along with them! History is very fascinating!

First I'll start with the resources I am using.....

I found some wonderful short biographies at Garden of Praise. If you click the link it will take you right to the page with all of the president's. There are even printables like word finds, coloring pages, and study questions. All FREE!

Another great resource I found over at Homeschool Share. They have a President Lapbook and a Presidents Day page full of fabulousness. All of these are in pdf fprmat and FREE.

I decided we were going to put together a President  Notebook, instead of a lapbook. Basically, I used THESE FREE notebooking pages and am incorporating different lapbook elements here and there to add to it.

Each class we will be doing a fun activity too. This really helps the kids minds to retain information. I know it sure helps me!

You can also follow me on Pinterest and see other great resources and ideas for teaching about the Presidents!

Our first class we discussed George Washington. We did a simple craft to go along with our lesson, we made a tricorner hat. I found THESE instructions to make them. We did them a little bit differently. The instructions used butcher paper but I wanted to use felt. We did still use the sentence strip as directed, we just attached the felt to it. The kids enjoyed making this! It was fun to see them wearing them.  =)

It was a great first class! I am blessed to have such a remarkable group of kids, and so smart! Two of them, brothers, had actually just gotten back from traveling the States and visiting a lot of the places that former presidents had lived. They new a lot of stuff that I didn't know.  =)

Next, I'll fill you in on our 2nd class, which was even more fun than the first!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Raving for Ruffles

 Ruffles are something I have been thinking about adding to my Bible covers for a while now. I am pleased to say that I have finally done it! Of course, it wasn't until someone requested ruffles to be added to a few covers that I actually did it. I usually need that nudge.  =)

The first Bible cover has ruffle going around the middle of the cover. This ruffle gives it just a little something more. Also, I love how all of the fabrics coordinate with each other. It really makes it even more wonderful!

This next ruffle is F-U-N!


 Not only is it a totally wow print, the ruffled edge adds so much to this cover! I know the little girl receiving this cover is going to love it.


I enjoyed adding ruffles to these covers, and I look forward to doing more soon!

Have a blessed day friends!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Home-School Happenings and More

Well, it's been weeks since my last post. I apologize for that! I have been keeping super busy. September marked the beginning of our home-school year. We always start the day after Labor day. This is my first year with 3 officially in a grade! There has been a learning curve for me. Lol!

Seriously though, it has been pretty great. We have a 5th grader, 3rd grader, and a kindergartener. And, of course, the 2 year old is always under foot! 

The school activities are slowly starting back up as well. That means a little bit of extra time outside of the house. I tried to be very limited in our extra stuff. I think I have succeeded. the only things I added on to our school days are Friday school (a 9 week co-op which we LOVE), Science Club (which is every other Monday), Park days (believe me these are important), and a little bit of PE time with some friends early 1 morning a week. I am confident that this is doable for us right at this moment in our lives. I remember a few yers ago where we had something almost every day outside of the house. Whew! That was a crazy busy but fun, exhausting year! I now know my limits.

With all of the hustle and bustle of the school year, I've also had quite a bit of buzz in my Etsy shop. Which I think is totally fantastic! I was even contacted by a sweet woman from North Carolina about making custom Bible covers for her Church Bazaar going on in November. I've had so much fun working with her on choosing fabrics, and working out all of the details. I think we've almost got it! What a blessing it has been!

Also, in case you hadn't noticed already, my blog is, yet again, going through a mini makeover. It's almost as if I have a personality disorder. I think I am just finding myself, and what I want for this blog, finding what fits in my life right now. But hey, aren't we all?

So, the name has changed a few more times. I think the header still says "A Tote-ally Blessed Experience" but the blog title reads "A Tote-ally Blessed Life". I'm settling in with the latter. A header is soon to follow, I'm just a little behind myself these days.  ;)

I think that pretty much catches you up to speed. I think. I do have a few things I'd like to share but I'm such an awful blogger right now. It seems my efforts to improve are becoming futile. I'll share as often as I can though, promise!

Have a blessed day friends!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Child of the Month: Millie

I can hardly believe it is already September! This year is really flying by. My oldest turned 11 today. ELEVEN. I am really having to let that sink in. I'm a blessed momma though, he said he'd always be my baby. Which makes me super happy! =)

With a new month brings a new child to donate to at Reece's Rainbow.

Picture from RR website
Please click the LINK to go directly to the child of the month page on Reece's Rainbow. Currently she has only $1336.00 toward the cost of her adoption. You can donate directly on that page if you feel led.

This month 20% of the sales from my Etsy shop will be donated to Millie's adoption. Please take a moment to stop by. You never know what you might find!

Have a blessed day friends!


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