A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Ladybugs

They are everywhere. Not in my garden, not on my porch, but in my HOUSE. Around nearly every ceiling light. Not sure where they came from. Lady bugs, lady bugs and more lady bugs.
First thought was obviously "kill the bugs". Its instinct right,? You see a bug, or multiple in my case, in your home, you kill it or them. As I began to slam my sandle against the wall and ceiling, I heard a screech that could have possibly woke the dead."Nooo (add feet stomping here) "My wadybugs"(Cue meltdown). Apparently, my 3 year old has been bringing them in, one by one, as he finds them outside because it was too cold for them outside.
This lead to a 10 minute cuddle session full of apologies. So, how do we find a solution to this "situation" that will not leave bugs all over my house or leave a child grieving over his lost ladybugs?

We made a ladybug habitat. I used our little fish net from our fish tank and caught about 12.

I created a notebooking sheet for notes and observations. *See created by me to the right* So we researched the internet to find out what a lady bug needs in its home to live. We used an empty prego sauce jar, put a few small sticks, pieces of grass, leaves, and a couple mist sprays of water in the jar. Add moistened raisens or small apple bits and ....Ta da...a lady bug habitat.

We will basically keep the habitat for 3-5 days and make observations every day. As far as my 3 yr old is concerned, we will keep them to warm them up and then we will let them go back outside and they will go find another warm place.

Mommy/K3 L9 M6

For us, this will only be a short study. However, this could easily turn into a longer study. You could research the types of lady bugs, learn the lady bug life cycle or learn the different body parts and sections.

I just hope that I can get rid of this creepy, crawling sensation that I continue to get. I swear they are all over me. What makes it worse is that I though we had caught them all. However, in the time it has taken me to write this, get up and check on sleeping babies..twice, and doing a load of laundry I have seen about 9 more.
Ewww. okay..just eww.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Lessons

I have to say that Fall/Autumn is my all time favorite season. It's the time when all the leaves turn into gorgeous colors that just relax your soul. It's the time where the air begins to chill. It's time for apples and pumpkins. For Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's also my favorite time to do nature studies. I love being outside during the fall season, so what better time to take the opportunity to learn about the nature that surrounds us. The studies I have chosen this year, I cannot take full credit for. I was able to print of the entire Autumn Series challenge from handbook of nature.(handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com) However, I have also created additional studies as well as corresponding studies. Here is my list of study items for each week. Feel free to follow along. I will add all attachments that I have made along with each week. This for grades Pre-K-3.
Week 1: Apples
*Read Child's biography of Johnny Appleseed
*Apple sheet for 2 different apples(draw pictures of each, words to describe apples)
*Complete Venn Diagram comparing the apples
*For Pre-K : A is for apple sheet
*Art Project:
Apple stamps(cutting the apple in half, dipping in paint, and stamping on page) Can be done on white t-shirts or construction paper.
Or Apple trees. Trace arm to elbow and hand with fingers open. Color trunk brown, Draw(or paint) in leaves. Dip your finger in red paint and make fingertip apples on tree.
Week 2: Trees
*Read a tree story. We are using this one. Moral story with comprehension questions www.kindbook.com/nature_en.htm.
*Seasonal tree journal sheet. Pick a seasonal tree. Draw it and describe its features.
*Oaks and acorns journal sheet. Find an oak tree. Draw it.Draw it's acorn. Describe its features.
*Find leaves from your trees. Talk about them and why they change and fall off.
*Pre-K- Allow your preschooler to draw trees with siblings.
*Art Project:
We are making our leaves into bookmarks by laminating them.
Or leaf stamps(done as apple stamps)
Week 3: Birds and Squirrels(You could turn this easily into a 2 week project if you would like to focus more on birds)
*Take a walk. Find a bird for each child. Research to find the name of the bird if it's not known.
*Bird Journal sheet. You might have to make a library trip to learn more facts about your bird.
*Squirrel Journal sheet. Find a squirrel print. (might have to find a picture) Describe your squirrel.
Pre-K- Color sheet of squirrel and bird. B is for Bird.
*Art Project:
Since it is nearing Thanksgiving, we are doing a hand and foot turkey. Tracing your hands and feet to make the turkey. I'll post pics to give you an idea.
Week 4: Pumpkins
*Dissect a pumpkin(or just carve one). Talk about the seeds, the goop, and the outer shell. Describe what things you can make with these items(pie, baked seeds). Save the seeds to plant.
*Pumpkin Journal Sheet
*Visit a pumpkin patch and talk about how pumpkins grow. Maybe plan to plant some next spring. There is a Pumpkin life cycle print out at enchantedlearning.com.
*Talk about some other members of the gourd family.
*Peter pumpkin eater poem. Create your own acrostic pumpkin poem.
*Pre-K- P is for pumpkin. Do some basic math with the seeds. Make a jack-o-lantern mask. *Project:
Make a pumpkin dessert. We are making Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Yum

So, there is four weeks of nature studies for you. You can add so much to these or take some things away to make them into studies that fit your children. Like I mentioned, I will add pictures of our activities every week. Feel free to add your pictures as well. I would love to hear your pumpkin recipes. If you add any material to the weekly studies, please share those as well.

Have a wonderful fall!!

Just Quiet

When you first have children, it is a difficult process getting accustomed to the difference in your household. It becomes a kid house. It's a mess, its busy, its fun, and it's loud. Well at least in my house anyway. Once that has become the norm, have you ever noticed how the quietness of no children running around can leave many different emotions? For me, I first let out a *sigh* of relaxation and then think "This is nice". Then, I start to think, '"What I am suppose to do now?"However, within a few hours my mindset will suddenly change. I begin to miss it. I miss the laughter, the crying, the yelling, the stomping, the fighting, the voices and the whispers.

When there is something so constant in your life it is difficult to be without it. This works the same with God. It is often difficult to get into a constant pattern of listening to the right music, watching the right shows, reading you Bible regularly, and Praying...a lot. Then you are able to get into this pattern. Your life really takes place and it becomes the norm. Have you had a week, even a month or longer, where you have just been out of that routine. Life just isn't the same is it? You begin to miss it. You miss when He speaks to you through his words, when he whispers to you when your having a bad day, when your crying, when your stomping, when your fighting....

Well it happens. It happens to all Christians. Sometimes life gets busy. With me, it doesn't take but a day or 2 before I miss it. I can't go with out speaking to Him and hearing Him. Knowing He is there. Even though I feel that way about my husband, it is a different experience. It really seems to lift me, to calm me, and gives the ability to think more clearly about my what I say and do. Not that my husband isn't able to do those things, but it is still...different.

My question for you: Is God constant in your life? Do you make him a part of your routine? What can you do today to add Him to your routine.

Deuteronomy 11:9(and 6:7) says: "You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise."
I don't think Moses could have been more straight forward when he wrote that. Pretty self-explanatory :)