Connected2Christ.com

Sharing our thoughts and experiences on life as a Christ following family of five...

Where’s My Book, Mommy?

2013-03-20
There’s no time to early to introduce your kids into loving school, in my opinion. I’d been working my my two year old son Owen doing schooling here and there but not scheduled and nothing that was in a book. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, that I noticed him feeling left out when I was working with his sister in her school workbook. He kept saying, ” Where’s my book, Mommy?,”.

Well, with that I jumped into action and ordered him a few Kumon Workbooks off Amazon.com. These work books are great for children ages 2 and up and they are very affordable. The result of using them has made schooling both my son and daughter much easier and he’s extremely excited and happy with his own books!

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Melody’s Spring Planting

2013-03-18
Gardening is a wonderful hands-on activity that I recently incorporated into our Bible study.  While planting these flowers we talked about other ways in which we “plant and water seeds” in our everyday life! Sowing, reaping, being patient, putting your best effort forward, carefully taking care and being aware, etc. Gardening is a wonderful activity to do with a child to teach so many different character building skills and Biblical principles.

Mark 4:20 says “But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.

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Our First Worm Farm!

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I think my kids excited faces in the picture to above completely says it all! Science can be extremely fun especially when it comes to raising your own worm farm! An adventure this will be because we plan on keeping one for as long as we can. It’ll be fantastic way for my children to learn all about worms, composting,  the cycle of life and death, and much more along the way.

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Rhyme & Sort Rockets by Learning Resources {Review & Giveaway}

2013-01-17

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My daughter Melody (age 4 1/2 years old) is just learning to read and I’m always looking for outside the box ways to teach her anything new. I found that she learns better by doing something hands on rather than just having something explained directly out of a book. So, anything that has manipulative items has worked very well when teaching not just her but my preschool son too. In knowing this, I always venture toward Learning Resources for the best activity learning sets out there. And in light of learning to read and focusing on rhyming words with my children, I was ever so thrilled to be introduced Rhyme & Sort Rockets by Learning Resources from their brand new 2013 line of products.

Rhyme & Sort Rockets by Learning Resources is a must have set geared toward reinforcing phonological awareness to children ages 4 thru 7. This set is very colorful and comes with 8 rockets (Dark Blue, Orange, Yellow, Dark Green, Purple, Red, Light Green and Light Blue), 80 language free image cards (real-life photos) and Activity Guide. How the set works is that you can put a photo card in the rocket doorway, then sort cards that rhyme into the corresponding correct rocket. Some ways to do this is through sorting by beginning and ending sounds, by syllables, and whatever other ways you so choose to do.

In the Activity Guide there’s a wonderful word list complied from the 80 image cards included with the set. I decided to first sort the cards out into the suggested rhyming groups and then choose 3 word families and 3 rockets to use with my daughter. The rhyming sounds I chose were from the -at family ( bat, cat, rat, etc…), and a few others. I choose 1 card from each family and placed each one into a rocket base. I then had my daughter say aloud to me what was on each of the mixed together cards and in doing so she recognized which words rhymed with the corresponding rhyming word on the rocket base. She then loaded up each rocket with the correct cards. It was really a great exercise for her in recognizing rhyming sounds and the fact we had been working on words from the -at group earlier and then with the rockets really helped her remember everything much better.

My son is only two years old and he’s extremely verbal. He’s caught on quite a bit when I am teaching my daughter with the rockets so it’s great fun. So he doesn’t feel left out from this awesome set, I sometimes use it to teach and practice with him his colors! The rockets come in almost every color of the rainbow, so why not?

Improvements to the set could’ve been separate durable word list cards (instead of just printed in the guide) and a storage area in the box for the 80 included pieces. I for one like to be extremely organized so I sorted each rhyming word group into those small zip up bags you can find at most craft stores.

Overall, I really have been enjoying the set and have already thought of other ways to use it geared torward my daughter’s current learning level. Keep in mind though that there are seven suggested activities in the guide provided that are great for one on one or as well as activities and games that can be played with multiple children. I can see us using the Rhyme and Sort Rockets for quite a while yet.

Buy it: You can purchase the Learning Resources Rhyme and Sort Rockets for $37.99 on the Learning Resource Website and it also can be found on Amazon.com.

Get Connected with Learning Resources…

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-Win it-

Learning Resources is giving one of my readers a chance to win their very own  Rhyme and Sort Rockets Set! Enter below through Rafflecopter and US winners only.

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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My Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator

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January 2013, though not over, has been quite a productive month for my family. I’ve taken a break from my knitting in order to get things well…in order! Money has gotten even tighter for us since the fiscal cliff so in homeschooling my children and whatever else we tend to spend our money on, we’ve literally been having to pinch pennies and watch where it’s going even closer than before. Sometimes being a basically one income family can be really taxing at time, let me tell you!

Okay, so this month I’ve been planning for the school year ahead. Melody will officially be starting Kindergarten at home and Owen will jump into pre-k.  I’ve been researching, gathering supplies, and really seeking what I’d like to do with both kids. And right now, I’m 100% sure I don’t want to follow a box plan for educating them. I like to build my own lessons and reach my children in their personal learning styles but that’s another blog post. In this post, I’d like to share a must need and have supply for any homeschool family at least for ours it’s been such a blessing to own… a laminator! P1070870
If you are not a member at bulk retail store like BJ’s, Sams Club, or Costco, I encourage you to become one. My family has saved many dollars on food, electronics, clothes, and school supplies and books! I this last week, decided it was time to purchase a Laminator for our classroom and went with the  Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator which was only priced at 19.99!

This particular laminator comes with 100 Hot Pockets in assorted sizes ( (40) 8.5″x11″, (30) 4″x6″, (30) 3″x5″) to get you started. It’s 9inches in size so it takes up very little space. It also can laminate in not just hot but cold too using 50% less electricity that other standard machines.

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I’ve used our laminator to cover a chore chart for my daughter, a reusable calendar to jot down household chores for myself as well as page for me to write out our weekly meal plan,  and school activity and handwriting sheets fr both kids. I think name writing practice sheet as well as the phone number memorization page is going to be excellent for my daughter to work with over the school year.

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Other Reasons Why I think most people could get a lot of use out of lamintor….

Make bookmarks, preserve photos or your child’s artwork, make flashcards, reusable wipe-able handwriting sheets of all kinds, create your own posters, scrap-booking  mini key ring photo albums,  matching games,  label tags, covering your most used recipe cards, and so much more.

I imagine that with my laminator, there will be more blog post from me on creative ideas and ways we are using it. I plan on offering freebies with my graphics on them for bookmarks, flashcards, and activity sheets for kids!

If you are interested in purchasing your very own Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator, know I highly recommend it and you can find it priced at 29.99 on Amazon.com and there’s free shipping!

Do you have a laminator? If so, do share what you like to use it for! Also, if you have a blog post about yours, be sure to add the link in your comment for us to see!

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