Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky

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 This year we are studying ancient history.  This is actually our first year studying history, and since we school using the classical model we start at the beginning of time.  Also keeping with the classical model, we try to integrate as many subjects together as possible, giving everything meaning and relevance.  For ancient history, that would mean studying sciences like life science and astronomy.

Just this week we began at the beginning..."In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  (Genesis 1:1)  so I couldn't think of anything better to start thinking about than the heavens! (I guess the earth would have worked too =)  Luckily for me, I had recently received a review copy of The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky by Dr. Jason Lisle.  This hardcover, full color book is amazing and brimming with so much information!  It is a very advanced book, so by no means will I be reading it with my 4 year old, but it opened my eyes to a new realm of study.

As I read through this book, I took notes of concepts I would like to integrate with our study of history this year.  I wrote down things mostly about the sun and the moon...things that I could easily observe and discuss with my young children.  This book is an incredible resource that I can see myself going back to time and time again.  It can equip any parent with great knowledge needed to instruct their children about things in the sky.

If you have an older child, especially one who has taken an interest to astronomy, I highly recommend this as a resource for them.  The book is filled with incredible detail and beautiful pictures.  It covers everything from how our eyes work (with really interesting ideas for how to make your eyes work better in the dark!) to when to see meteor showers, and even how to take pictures of the beautiful sky!  It details everything you would ever want to know about the sun, moon, and how everything moves in the sky (like where and when to look for stars).  If you have an interest in any of these things, this book is for you!

This book has made me want to grab a blanket, go lay in my yard, and just watch the sky above.  Want to join me?

I received this book from New Leaf Publishing for the purpose of this review.  I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Happy Stargazing!



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Monday, August 27, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #21

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.



As promised, I have two features from last week's link-up!  First up is On Becoming a Better Teacher from Golden Grasses.  This post was very encouraging to me and I'm sure that it will make you think as well!  She charges us to be purposeful about becoming better educators.  I encourage you to go on over and read it if you missed it last week!
 




PhotobucketNext is Notebooking - Build Good Habits in Your Homeschooler from Harmony Art Mom.  It is about just that...notebooking and the benefits that it brings when done faithfully.  What I love most is that it is from the perspective of a mom who has high schoolers.  She can share the proof that these concepts are worth the work!  While you are there, be sure to check out the back to school sale that she has going on for her Harmony Fine Arts curriculum!  It is so neat, because it lets you study composers and artists chronologically right along with your history studies!


Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

What I Hope Our Days Look Like

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We are starting our new school year tomorrow.  I'm excited to get back into a good schedule and open some new books!  Like I've said before on this blog, I think I like to plan more than I like to teach (which I probably need to work on), so of course I've made up nice plans and a great schedule =)  Now I'm sure once we start, reality will kick in and things will get all changed around, but for now, this is what I'm hoping our days will look like...

7:00 ish - wake up
  • get dressed (these are habits we've been trying to get into for the past few weeks)
  • brush teeth
  • make bed
  • tidy room

8:00 am - breakfast
  • memory work (at the table)
  • read character story (at the table)

8:30 am - chores
  • clear table (Trevor)
  • vacuum under table (Mackenzie)
  • Help mom with cleaning the room of the day
  • optional extra chore to earn a coin

9:30 - play outside (this could be earlier if their chores are done)

10:00 - school time (with little breaks in between each thing)
  • writing notebook (spelling practice)
  • language arts (McGuffey's First Reader or Primary Language Lessons)
  • copywork
  • History (lots of story reading and an activity)
  • Mackenzie will have her own little activities, puzzles, etc. to do while Trevor does his writing and reading, and then will listen along while we read for history.

11:30 am -
  • lunch
  • play
  • extra school if needed/desired (art page, science experiment, music, etc.)

12:30 - Rest Time (nap for Mackenzie, Trevor if needed otherwise he can read books in his room)

2:00 - Afternoons are free!  Grocery shopping, playing, visiting grandparents, read-aloud from chapter book, etc.

This is just a framework to get us started.  Who knows what things will look like after a few weeks (or months!)  I like the idea of having the house cleaned up before much else is done, but who knows, maybe the kids will do better with their lessons first thing.   Maybe daddy will want to be involved in certain parts of school more and we will save them for evenings (we do Bible time with him at night now, and since our history will be lining up with the Bible this year he might want to do some of our history lessons with us!)

I'm excited...are you?!?   Check out the Not Back to School blog hop going on over at iHomeschool Network to see what tons of other family's days look like too!

New here?  Check out our curriculum, school room, and students

Happy Living!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flexi Clip Review and Giveaway



Have you tried a flexi clip from lilla rose?  I had seen them around at many different blogs for months, so I was excited when lilla rose consultant Jennifer Miller offered me the chance to try one out for myself (and give away one to a lucky reader)!

I have decently long hair, which I love, but honestly it drives me crazy most of the time during the day when I'm taking care of the home and children.  Ninety percent of the time you will find me with my hair up.  My fastener of choice is a plain old hair tie.  The problem is that I really do want to look feminine, and a pony tail doesn't usually foster that =)

I was so pleased that the flexi clip allowed me to keep my hair up, while adding a little bit of 'pretty,' making it more of a style than a frumpy pony. 

The one thing you have to be careful about when ordering a flexi clip is that you need to make sure you get the right size.  You should watch the video to help get an idea of which size you should get for the styles you want to use it for.  It took me a few days, once I got the clip, to figure out which styles worked best for the size clip I got.  I found that the trick is to pretty much max out the amount of hair you can fit in the clip and then the style will hold all day!  Even though you get the clip quite tight, it is very comfortable all the time.  It doesn't ever feel tight like a pony tail does after a long day, and it's hold is much more secure than a claw style clip.

There is a video showing different ways that you can style your hair with a flexi clip, but I thought I'd show you a few different ways that I've used it.  If you look a the picture above, you will see the following styles:
  1. top-left: hair twisted up and around, clip secured at the bottom grasping the beginning and the end of my twist (I found that the medium sized clip was not big enough to go over all my hair in a twist, but it worked well this way)
  2. top-right: low, side bun, flipped down-ward, clip clasped at the top of the bun (the video shows a style similar to this...I think it is very pretty)
  3. bottom-left: loose french braid, twisted and flipped up, clip fastened right at my head to keep it tight.
  4. bottom-right: a simple bun with the flexi clasped right behind the bun at my head.  Not as fancy as some of the others, but a pretty addition to the super functional bun if that is what you're used to =)
Bottom line is that I love that it stays secure in my head and that after hours of wearing it, it is so comfortable that I literally forget it is in my hair.  It leaves me wanting to get a few other sizes so that I can use it for a wider variety of styles!

If this sounds good to you, or even if you are skeptical and want to try it to believe it, it's your lucky day because you've got the chance to win one for yourself.  You even get to choose which clip you want (up to $16)!  If you are a busy mom, you really need to give the flexi clip a try!

Contest is open to residents of USA, Canada, and Mexico.  Winner must not have won a flexi clip in the past six months.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Winning!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homeschool eBook Omnibus

Homeschool eBook Omnibus Sale ...

PROMOTION IS OVER 

...But you can still click on individual eBooks to visit the author's site and purchase them individually if desired.

Omnibus: a book containing reprints of a number of works

French, from Latin, for all, dative plural of omnis, a combining form meaning "all," used in the formation of compound. First known use: 1829

What is the Homeschool eBook Omnibus?

A digital stockpile of books to carry you through the school year with encouragement and practical how tos. There are 53 eBooks in the collection, valued at over $350. The authors want to bless you by offering the entire collection for only $25. That is less than 50-cents per eBook.

How long will this sale last, exactly?

The sale will begin at 12:01am ET on Tuesday, August 21st and end at midnight on Saturday, August 25th.

What eBooks will I receive?

 

Why are you selling this collection so cheap?

The authors are all homeschool moms like you who have just bought a multitude of school supplies and curriculum for the new academic year. They know that money can be tight at this time of the year. That's why each of the authors wants to give back to the homeschool community with this ridiculously discounted eBook Omnibus.

Is there any other information I need to know before purchasing?

Yes, the download links for the eBooks will be valid for only 2 weeks. You must be sure to download all files before September 8th. Please remember to back up your files as well. iHN and the authors cannot send you copies of eBooks that have been deleted. Each of the eBooks in the Omnibus is copyrighted by the original author. Your purchase does not entitle you to share the files or upload them anywhere online where others can access them.


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #20

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.

This week is going to be a little different because I'm not going to have a feature post from last week. I'll make it up to you by having two next week =)  This is because I have two fantastic things going on at Living and Learning at Home right now that I want you to know about!

First is an amazing e-book bundle that is available only this week! 52 great e-books from various homeschool bloggers for just $25...that's like about 50 cents a book!  See my post about it to learn more and purchase it.


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Next is another Heritage History giveaway.  This is a really neat collection of old books to supplement whichever time period of history you are studying.  You have the chance to win any one of their curriculum or library sets.  See my post to learn more and enter to win!


Heritage History Homeschool Curriculum

Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Meet the Students - 2012

You've seen our curriculum, you've seen our school room, now it's time to meet the students!


First up is TREVOR!  He is four years old.  In fact, he is four years old today!  It is his birthday!  Trevor is all BOY.  He is almost always JUMPING or RUNNING or BOUNCING somewhere!  He likes to figure out how things work.  He is learning how to consider other people before himself and how to put his strength to good use =)  He is very INTELLIGENT, but lacks confidence.  This year we will be working on not getting discouraged so quickly and quitting, but instead being a DILIGENT worker and being motivated to finish what we start.  Trevor loves to play BALL with daddy, ride his BIKE, and EXPLORE in the outdoors. I'm so excited to see what this new school year will bring for him!



Next up is MACKENZIE!  She is two years old and my little SWEETHEART.  She is everything that embodies 'little girl.'  She is NURTURING, CALM, and loves to CUDDLE.  She loves to COLOR and is fantastic at occupying herself with things like blocks or flashcards.  She always wants to help with with housework, and works very DILIGENTLY at the jobs she is given.  She loves to SING and to look PRETTY =)  She is obsessed with playing with WATER (in a cup, in a pool, with a hose, or any way you will give it to her!) and loves to ride her BIKE.  I love to see her learning her letters and numbers, and am excited to see what she will all learn this year too!

From day one, my kids have been very different from each other, and I am beginning to see that academically as well.  Trevor is very good at memorizing things and figuring things out.  I'm sure he is 'left brained.'  But, he has never been good at creating things, or occupying himself.  He thrives on structure and not thinking of things for himself.  Mackenzie is not so quick to memorize things like the alphabet, but will sit and create something with crayons and paper and glue for an hour by herself.  I'm sure she is 'right brained.'  She does not need structure like her brother does, and loves to work hard at something until it is finished.  It's amazing to me to see how each piece of each child fits together and am interested to see how these learning styles and tendencies will play themselves out as far as school goes in the coming years.

Well, those are my kids!  How about yours?  Did you link up to the Not Back To School blog hop?  Head on over to link-up or to just meet some other families!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

iHomeschool EBook Bundle Coming Soon!

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Have you heard???  iHomeschool Network has come together to offer you a fantastic bundle of homeschool related eBooks.  You'll have to wait a few more days to know exactly which eBooks from which authors will be included, but I can promise you that it is a fantastic collection! 

If you were to buy each of the eBooks individually it would be hundreds of dollars, but to get you ready for this new school year, we wanted to offer you all of our best material for only $25.  So even if there are only a few titles that you are interested in (though I'll bet you will see many that you'd like to read!), it would be worth your money!

So keep your eye out on Tuesday the 21st for this incredible deal!  You'll be able to buy it right here at Living and Learning at Home!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Heritage History Giveaway (take two)

HeritageHistorybanner

Here's round two of my Heritage History giveaway!

Last month I shared with you a great new living books curriculum called Heritage History.  You can read my review here.  Basically they compile and reformat public domain books that tell history in a living, story sort of way.  The books are in e-book format for you to use on your computer, print out, or read on your e-reader device.

Heritage History sells complete curriculum packages for $24.99, extra book libraries for $19.99, and also individual books in case you just see one that you want!  (But you can win a curriculum set or library today by entering below!!!)

Curriculum Sets:
  • Young Readers (an overview of history)
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • British Middle Ages
  • British Empire

Libraries:
  • Early America
  • Spanish Empire
  • Christian Europe
  • Modern Europe

Heritage History has been kind enough to give me one set (either curriculum or library) to give away to one of my readers.  The best part is that you get to pick out which set you want!

If you don't want to wait (or if you don't win =) Heritage History has two great promotions going on right now.
  1. With the purchase of any curriculum package, can you get the Spanish Empire library FREE.  Just add both items to you cart, then enter discount code 'MAZEbugs' to get the Spanish Empire library FREE.
  2. Either sign up on their email list or make any purchase and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire loaded with the curriculum set of your choice! (Click here to learn more and sign up for their emails...scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter this great giveaway!  This is a great way to get some fantastic history material for this coming school year! Oh, and don't worry if you don't win, I'm going to have two more of this exact giveaway over the next two months =)

Happy Winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #19

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.


There were so many great link-ups last week! Kudos to all of you =)  I may be getting to the point where I have more than one feature...the burden is on all of you to keep submitting great posts!  Since I have to pick just one, I'm going to pick Why I Love Copywork from Homeschool Story.I chose this mostly because I love copywork too!  In this post, she talks about what copywork is, why she wanted to use it, and the benefits she saw from using it with her children.  If you have never heard of copywork, or are considering it, check out her post!



Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!


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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Peak Into Our School Room

We're gearing up to start school over here!  We just got moved into a new house and I am so excited to have a real space for doing school.  It's not all that one day I hope it will be, but it is perfect for right now and I am so thankful for the space!  Would you like to take a peak?



 Ok, so it's more like a half of a room =)  The other half of the room has a couch (pictured), a TV, and a desk.  I really didn't want a TV in view of where we do most of our school, but that's how it's working out and as long as it is not a distraction it's ok with me.

I'm still moving things around on the shelf, deciding what things I want in the kids reach.  One of my goals was to have more arts and crafts materials for the kids to use freely, but the problem is that they are messy =) so it's trial and error figuring out what things they can truly have the freedom to use unsupervised right now!

The cork boards on the walls hold the daily schedule and also a list of things that I want to get done for the month in school.  The items (on both lists) are on sticky notes so that my son can take them down as he accomplishes them.  This is a new method for us, so we will see how it goes!



A close up of the kids desks.  My kids are little, so simple will do.  They are those cheap ($10?) Lack IKEA end tables, which little kids chairs (garage sale!) fit under perfectly!  My little girl likes to put stickers on hers =)



The other side of the room...my desk!  Another IKEA piece, their Expedit bookshelf which I'm in love with. Soooo much storage and looks clean and orderly.  Itso bins from Target fit in perfectly.


I just love these!


A close up of my planning pages up on a cork board over the desk.  Last year i tried keeping sheets like this in a binder, but I neglected it too much, so this year I'm trying a new method.  Maybe I'll share these printable planning sheets with you all if you're interested =)  You can download these pages for yourself here!



In the living room I'm working on a whole wall of book shelves!  Yes, those are the same IKEA shelves as by my desk, just the 4x4 size.  There are two of them, one in front of the other right now.  I have to wait until we get rid of another piece of furniture on the opposite wall before I can set these up like I want to, but I'm excited to get all our books up!  What I love is that as our collection expands, I can get more of these (smaller sized) shelves and stack them onto of these 4x4 units to create floor to ceiling shelves!


How is your school room coming...or how is it working, if you've already started school?

Happy Decorating!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ultimate Guide to Keeping Young Children with you at Church

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My husband and I keep our children (currently ages almost 4 and 2) with us during the worship service at church.  We have always kept them with us.  It is not that we are necessarily against Sunday school, but that we are for worshiping together as a family.  Just like everything else in parenting, it is about training.  This post is not going to tackle the why of keeping your children with you at church, but the how.  If you are looking for the why, I can recommend the book Parenting in the Pew and I will also link to some resources on that subject at the end.

Child in Church Archival Photo Poster PrintFirst, you have to evaluate how child friendly your church is.  If your church requires all children to be in the worship service (has no other option for children), then I would guess that they would also have more leeway as far as noise level and wiggling goes =)  Your church may be smaller and understanding of distractions (everything from cell phones ringing to babies babbling).  Maybe your church does not encourage children in the worship service, but also doesn't give you dirty looks when you walk down the isle to your seat with your children it tow.   I hope that you church does not flat out refuse children in the service, if so, I would strongly question their theology on children and have some serious discussions with the pastor.  This post is targeted at parents who want to worship with their children, but need to keep them very quiet out of respect for others listening and the pastor.

Are you ready for the Ultimate Guide to Keeping Young Children with you at Church?

How to prepare:


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  • If your child is struggling to sit quietly still through your church service (and what young child doesn't?),  it is a good idea to practice at home.  This can include: 

    • Simply practicing obedience ("Tommy, quiet while mommy makes this phone call." "Kate, sit still while you eat your dinner") and expecting obedience!
    • Have family worship (devotions) during the week and expect the same the behavior that you are striving for at church.
    • Have a baby/toddler sleep in your arms or sit in their car seat to practice what being still is like (keeping a baby quiet at all times is impossible, but you can work on stillness)
    • Have a preschool/young elementary aged child sit an listen to a sermon during the week to practice correct behavior.

  • It is much easier to train in the comfort of your own home that it is in the midst of a Sunday sermon.  

  • Right before you enter the service make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom and give your kids a peptalk of what you expect from them.  As young as 18 months my kids could answer the question "How do we act at church?" with a "shhhh" or a "quiet" showing me they are beginning to understand. 


Where to sit:


  • Up front.  This may sound like exactly what you don't want to do,  but hear me out!  Sitting up font puts your kids near the action.  There is more for them to look at and pay attention to.  They may feel more important, thinking that the pastor is speaking right to them!  If you do this, make sure you are not coming and going all service long...when we sit up front and have to leave for a minute, we slip in the back after or wait until the end if it's almost over. 

  • In the back.  If you have a small baby who is awake and babbling, fussy, or a child who you know is going to need some extra attention/training, it my be best for your to stick to the back =)  You definitely don't want to be a distraction to others if you don't have to be!  When my children were babies, I liked being able to walk them in the back until they fell asleep and then be able to quickly slip back in the pew with my husband. 

  • The end of a pew.  Generally speaking it is best if you can stick to the end of a row.  If you foresee having to leave at all, it is doing no one a service to have to climb over others in order to 'slip out.' =)  That being said, for a while my daughter was obsessed with stairs.  Where we sat in church was up some stairs, so for a while my family sat on the end of the pew, but we positioned my daughter farthest in so she wouldn't be tempted by the stairs.  So, evaluate your situation, consider others, and pick a good spot!

  • By a door.  If your church is not tiny, try to sit by an easy exit.  This is merely for the consideration of others, your pastor included!  If you can go from your seat to a door with no one noticing, that is fantastic!  In our church, there are even doors up front, so we have the option of sitting just about anywhere.  When my kids were babies, instead of sitting by an EXIT door, we would sit close to the cry room door.  Just think about the layout of your church and pick a spot that makes the most sense and is going to distract your pastor (and others) the least if you have to get up and walk out!

 

What to bring:


  • Something to keep the hands busy.  I do not advocate entertaining your child with many toys because I do not want children to grow up thinking that a church service is something they need to distract themselves from, but I understand that young children get fidgety and keeping their hands busy can help.

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    • Keep it simple.  A Bible (children's or adult), a piece of paper and pencil, a shoestring, hair tie, or pipe cleaner, a quiet chew toy for a baby, etc.  Do not bring a whole bag of toys or a whole pack of crayons. 
    • Keep it quiet.  Lauri toys or stickers are good options.  A simple busy bag might do the trick.  Be careful of loose papers for drawing on and books with thin pages as they can be loud (think crinkling and constant flipping).

  • Something to keep the mouth quiet.  This should be reserved for very young children.  Once you child is preschool age, they should understand that they need to be quiet.  This should also not be brought out at the beginning, but reserved for times they need to be extra quiet or for near the end when they are needing help for the last little bit of the service.

    • Keep it clean.  Avoid things that can make a mess on their hands or the floor (I avoid suckers/fruit/etc. and crackers/pretzles/cereal/etc.) My favorites are gummy bears (not so healthy) or dried fruit because they are in small pieces that can be put right into the mouth.
    • Keep it quiet.  If a food is going to be noisy, don't bring it!  My son likes to bite hard candy, so we don't let him have it.  Crackers/cereal/pretzles/etc. are also noisy when crunched, so that is another reason we do not do them.  We bring a sippy cup for each of our children and have found that certain cups are noisier than others.  As a side note, we also do not offer the drink until the very end, and only if they need it to help during the last few minutes because drinking inevitably leads to bathroom breaks =)

  • Something to aid in learning.   This will vary with different ages, but the ultimate goal is helping your child to learn, so always be thinking to that end.  

    • A preschooler can trace over relevant words you have written on a paper or circle pictures that they have heard the pastor say (ex. Bible, Jesus, etc.)  A beginning writer can copy a verse from the text or write down a few words they hear the pastor say.  They can look for the passage in their Bible or read the number of the chapter in the Bible.

  • Some great ideas from other ladies.


  What to train:


  • General Concepts

    • Consider others better than yourself. We are not teaching our children to be quiet for the sake of being quiet.  If we consider others better than ourselves, we will not keep them form being able to pay attention and learn.  We will also not be a distraction (think running up and down the isle for multiple bathroom breaks) to the pastor because that would hinder him being able to share his sermon with us as he had practiced.

    • Self control This is a worth wile thing for any child to learn.  If we control our hands, they will not be waving in the air or poking our sister =)  If we control our mouths, we will sing at the appropriate time and be quiet at the appropriate time.

    • What the body of Christ looks like.  A child partaking in a church service gets to see what communion looks like, what a group of people praying looks like, what their father singing to the Lord looks like!  They see their parents (and others!) valuing the work of the church by tithing and the entire congregation supporting new believers in baptism and membership.  These types of activities and experiences are not and cannot be replicated in a children's church.

  • Here are what some other ladies have to share about this...

    What to expect: 

     

    • Baby (0-6months)  - Sleep, nursing/bottle, pacifier.  Begin to associate the church service with being calm.  Take your baby to the back or out of the room if needed, but do not take them to play (this will associate inappropriate behavior with a reward.)

    • Toddler (7months-2 years) - Sleep (encourage napping if the child still would normally take a nap at this time, which should be easy if they have been trained in this since day one), sitting on parents lap (do not let them walk back and forth in the row, but model stillness), folding hands during prayer, bathroom break for early potty trainers, not making it through a long sermon (if my toddler does a good job, but starts to get fussy at the end, I don't mind taking him/her out early and telling him/her that they did a great job!)

    • Preschooler (3-4 years) - Standing and sitting along with the rest of the congregation, folding hands/closing eyes during prayer, looking at a Bible, filling out a page about the sermon (coloring page, copying /tracing words, etc.), one bathroom break tops.

    • Young Elementary (5-7 years) - Full participation in the service, no bathroom breaks, no toys only a paper to write notes or draw a pertinent picture.  


    Other Great Ideas (or posts that cover more than one of these topics)


    I hope that this has either given you some ideas if you keep your children with you in your church's worship service, or has encouraged you to at least think about this subject (or even give it a try!)  If you have any questions or other ideas, please let me know!  If you have written a blog post on this subject and would like me to like to it above, let me know and I will most likely add it (I'll have to make sure it is on topic, in line with the point of this post, family friendly, etc.)

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #18


    Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

    Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.

    If you didn't see it yesterday, I've got a GIVEAWAY going on this week!  It's for a 1-year subscription to HEV, a homeschool educational video site.  It's a really neat site.  Check out my review for a chance to win!

    My favorite link-up from last week was Classical Education - Beyond Latin and Homer from The Potter's Hand Academy.  Here, Kristi describes beautifully what classical education is.  "Imagine a beautiful hallway, in which a series of tapestries, telling the story of humankind, lines the wall."  That is just a little taste...if you missed it last week, go read it right now!  I'm sure you will be inspired to make your homeschool more beautiful, I was!

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    Now onto this week's link-up!

    Here are the rules:
    • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
    • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
    • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
    • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
    • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
    • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

    I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

    I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

    Happy Linking!


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    Monday, August 6, 2012

    HEV Review and Giveaway

    Have you ever hear of HEV?  If you are a homeschooling family, you need to check it out!  I was recently contacted by the husband and wife team behind the operation, John and Claudia, who wanted me to share their great site with you all, and they are even sponsoring a giveaway for a years access to the site.  Make sure you scroll all the way down to enter after you've learned what their site is all about =)

    Essentially HEV is a compilation of videos designed to help homeschool students (and their parents!)  The videos are "designed to be supportive to the Christian homeschool environment, build character in learners, and ease the burden parents sometimes feel when trying to find and teach the basics to their children (like grammar and math)."  The videos cover a great variety of topics, both educational and encouraging, and it looks like they are adding new videos frequently! Here are the categories of what is currently available on their site:

    • Creating Men
      • Boyhood and Beyond
      • Entreneurship
      • Fathers
    • Creating Women
      • Beautiful Girlhood
      • Crocheting
      • Mothers
    • Courses
      •  Origami
      • Abacus
      • Airplanes
      • Art Concepts & Projects
      • Cursive
      • Chess
      • Spelling
      • Science Concepts and Projects
      • World Geography & Cultures
      • Guitar
      • English Grammar
      • Nature Journals
      • Clouds
      • How Things Work
    • Love of Country
      • The Constitution
    • Gifts and Talents
    • Making a Difference
    • Book Reviews
    • Debate Forum
    • Writing Critique
    • Spriitual Thoughts
    • Monthly Contests

    I have been going through the cursive video series with my son, and we are enjoying it.  The videos are short and to the point, and my son is learning!  For this course, they even have printable pages to go along with each lesson so you child can practice right along with the instructor.

    I really like that this is a safe place for a parent to let their child learn about many topics.  You don't have to be afraid that your child will end up on an inappropriate video (like you would if they were searching for similar instruction on a place like youtube) so you could let them browse the website if you choose.

    These videos would be a great complement to your school year, whatever style of homeschooling and whatever curriculum you use!  Everybody likes a change of pace from time to time, and whether it's learning something fun like crocheting or guitar, or something that will aid in what you are studying at the time, HEV has just the thing!

    If this is peaking your interest, you can head over to HEV and sign up for a 1 week free trial to see more for yourself!  If you see a topic that you are interested in, you can sign up for just a month, or a whole year if you see many topics that you would be interested in your children learning about throughout the year.

    Right now, HEV is offering a special of 20% off the regular yearly subscription fee for blog readers only!  Enter code 'hevbloggers' at the check out to get a year subscription for only $56. This offer expires August 31, 2012.

    Also one lucky reader can win a one year subscription to the HEV site!  Just enter below...

    Happy Winning!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Friday, August 3, 2012

    2012-2013 Curriculum


    I am so excited to begin this new school year!  I am excited about all the new books, starting history, and obviously seeing my little ones grow and learn!  We do not use a boxed curriculum, I usually pick items off of the options at Classical Christian Homeschooling.

    This year my son is four and my daughter is two.  Last year my son learned the basics of reading and some foundational math concepts, so we hope to expand those and then add history.  All summer my son has been asking questions like "What people do a long long long time ago before they had windows?" so I thought what better time to start history =)  Now I'm not talking about worksheets and tests for my four year old, I'm talking about reading lots of stories about the beginning of time!  Classical education is a big advocate of living books, so you will see a lot of them on my list.

     

    Reading/Writing/Language Arts

     

    Math

     

    History

     

    Extras



    I'm sure that I am missing something, but that is the bulk of it!   My two year old will sit with us and do a variation of whatever we are doing.  I will give her pages to color or things to count, and she will listen along while we read.  When my oldest was two we did a set program, but I am seeing that is not needed for my second child who learns just as much (or more!) from simply observing and participating as she can.

    Make sure to stop over to the Not Back to School blog hop (starting on Monday) to share what you will be doing this year and to check out many other family's plans!

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    Happy Teaching!

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